It’s not often that “Jeopardy!” contestants fare about as well as those watching from home. But on Tuesday’s show, contestant Matt King garnered a score that would probably be on par for the average viewer.
While King started out strong, he finished the game with -$6,400 which ranks as the third-lowest score in “Jeopardy!” history. The “winner” of that honor is Patrick Pearce, who finished the game with $-7,400 last summer, and just below Pearce is 2015’s Stephanie Hull with $-6,800. And now, King sits just below Hull.
Ken Jennings was hosting the episode, and offered a gracious farewell to King just before Final Jeopardy! “Matt, I’m afraid you took your swings,” Jennings said before nearly going full Jason Bateman in “Dodgeball” with his next comment. “That’s a strategy. It didn’t always pay off.”
“Jeopardy!” has had added viewers after the controversy over who would take over for host after Alex Trebek. After a series of trial runs with the likes of LeVar Burton, Mayim Bialik and Jennings, executive producer Mike Richards chose himself as the next host of the long-running game show.
The backlash came swift and strong, especially in the wake of troubling comments Richards had made in the past, and within days Richards had backtracked and announced he would no longer be hosting the show (although he remains an executive producer).
A permanent “Jeopardy!” host has not yet been announced, but Matt King’s performance on Tuesday is a reminder that it’s one of the most entertaining game shows on television for a reason.