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A tie on ‘Jeopardy!’ last night surprised even Alex Trebek — and a Boston clue was the tiebreaker

"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek.Ethan Miller/Getty Images/Getty Images

Two teen contestants on “Jeopardy!” ended up tying with the same amount of money at the end of Final Jeopardy in the episode that aired Wednesday night — leaving even host Alex Trebek a bit surprised.

In the episode, high school senior Avi Gupta from Portland, Ore., and Jackson Jones, a high school junior from Louisville, Ky., each ended up with $39,200.

“To be honest, ladies and gentlemen, I can’t recall the last time we had to go to a tiebreaker,” Trebek said, as the audience applauded after the dramatic moment.

“Jeopardy!” tiebreakers are, indeed, quite uncommon. The first happened in 2014 during a Teen Tournament, while another in regular play came about in 2018, according to the show’s website.


But alas, there can be only one winner per episode. The show has a simple way to solve the issue: Trebek poses one clue, and whoever buzzes in and answers correctly first wins.

On Wednesday’s episode, Trebek told the contestants the category — “American History” — before reading the clue: “Types of it you could find in Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773 included souchong and bohea.”

Although both Gupta and Jones furiously clicked their buzzers, Gupta was just a hair quicker, and answered the clue correctly: “What is tea.”

“Tea is right, and you are a finalist!” Trebek said, as Gupta — who now advances to the Teen Tournament finals — clapped and bowed, soaking in his win.

“What a finish,” Trebek continued. “I hope our two finals are as exciting.”

Many “Jeopardy!” fans were thrilled by the fact that such a rare occurrence had happened on their watch.

However, some were not completely satisfied by the rules of the tiebreaker.

For his part, Gupta was aware that the game-deciding question seemed to be a bit of a softball.


“With tiebreaker clues like that, it was a coin toss,” Gupta said in a video on the show’s website. “I’m sure Jackson knew the answer, and I just feel really fortunate that I was able to ring in first.”