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.
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.
We just had an ELECTRIC tie breaker in Jeopardy tonight! If you didn’t watch you missed out big time— The Bastard Seaman (@caseyhall10) June 27, 2019
Anything after that Jeopardy! Teen Tournament tie breaker is going to be a let down tonight— Jonathan Carter (@jtylercarter) June 26, 2019
However, some were not completely satisfied by the rules of the tiebreaker.
I can’t believe I just witnessed a tie breaker on Jeopardy but that poor guy! He obviously knew the answer and was on the verge of tears when he lost. They seriously need to change that instead of who can get it right/wrong, not who clicks the buzzer faster.— Addlyn Teague (@AddlynTeague) June 27, 2019
Final Jeopardy question and tie breaker question were jokes. They could not have made it any easier. The truer tiebreaker would have been total money won in all the rounds. The show is about giving the answer not who can signal first. Very disappointing— Bob Soccol (@ubobber) June 27, 2019
The tie breaker question was way too easy. It was more of a contest of quickness rather than knowledge.— Mike Vimont (@MikeVimont) June 27, 2019
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.”