Something groundbreaking occurred on the quiz game show Jeopardy! on Thursday evening: a sudden-death round after Final Jeopardy ended in a tie, a first in Jeopardy! history, according to the show.
All three contestants were stumped by the Final Jeopardy answer.
“Once known as the Norman Isles, Per the British Govt. This group is “Not Part of the U.K.” and has “never been colonies,” the answer reads.
Scott Krzywonos was eliminated after wagering nearly all his money on the Canary Islands, and left with only $5.
Contestant Sarah Norris wrongly guessed the Faroe Islands. She wagered $4,801, bringing her down to $6,799.
Next up was champion Laura McLean, who guessed the Shetland Islands. She wagered $8,201 against her $15,000, which also brought her to $6,799. We’re guessing that both Sarah and Laura were not too pumped about betting on that extra dollar.
After informing the contestants that the correct answer is actually the Channel Islands, host Alex Trebek immediately fired off the tiebreaker question, without even giving anyone a chance to let the shock settle.
The Jeopardy website explains how it settles ties, a change it made a few years ago:
When it comes to tiebreakers, Jeopardy! takes a cue from the world of sports and sets up a “sudden death” match: The tied contestants are given a single clue from a new category and the first person to respond correctly wins the game.
Though tiebreakers were originally used to settle ties in tournaments, this was the first time it was used in a regular game. Laura was able to buzz in first with the correct question.
“Who is May?” Laura asked, which was enough for Trebek to respond, “Theresa May is right.”
Her reaction says it all:
Laura won the game, making her two-day winnings total $19,598.
Because a tie has never happened since the rule change, many people were unaware, and not too pleased.
YO! Anyone that knows me knows that Jeopardy is MY FAVORITE SHOW! I have been watching it for 30 years! I DVR it EVERY day! Today was the first time I’ve EVER seen it end in a tie and tie breaking question! WOW!
— Eugene Gibson (@iampastorgeno) March 2, 2018
Tie breaker on Jeopardy… I’ve now seen it all.
— Brett Wallace (@B_Wall8) March 2, 2018
Never saw a tie in Jeopardy until tonight. One question the breaker. Brutal
— Brian (@rochawk) March 2, 2018
I think the tie breaker question shouldn’t be a buzzer question, but rather, a write in question…just like Final Jeopardy. It seems a little unfair.
— Scott M. (@Turfk1129) March 2, 2018