You never know what is going to go viral next on the social media app TikTok; it could be a clip of a kid talking about his love for corn or a pastry chef building a giant chocolate giraffe. Or, in this case, it could be a classic episode of the long-running game show Jeopardy!
That’s right; the latest TikTok trend is an old clip from September 11, 1984, just the second-ever episode to be hosted by the late Alex Trebek. This particular moment has caught attention due to its shocking ending, which sees all three contestants answering the Final Jeopardy! question incorrectly, leaving the show with no winner.
In the clip, the contestants are seen writing down their answers to the Final Jeopardy! clue, “Calendar date with which the 20th century began?” A young, mustached Trebek then asks each participant to reveal their answer, and each player writes down the same incorrect response, “What was January 1, 1900?”
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To make matters worse, each contestant wagers their entire earnings, leaving all of them on $0, effectively meaning there is no winner and no returning champion. This has only happened twice in Jeopardy! history, with the second time taking place on January 18, 2016.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Trebek says as the studio audience gasps in the background. “But, in a situation like this…” he continues, whistling and wiping sweat from his brow.
“Easy come, easy go,” Trebek continues as he reveals that the three contestants will at least leave the show with consolation prizes.
And for those wanting to know the actual correct answer, well, luckily, so too did a member of the audience. “What’s the answer?” somebody yells out from the crowd at the end of the clip. “What’s the question?” Trebek corrects him before revealing it was “January 1, 1901.”
Thankfully, this tough second day on the job didn’t put Trebek off, as he went on to host the show for 38 seasons before he passed away from pancreatic cancer in November 2020. The show is now hosted by Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.
Jeopardy!, Weeknights, Check your local listings