Jeopardy Just Made History With Its First-Ever Final Jeopardy Tiebreaker

Jeopardy Just Made History With Its First-Ever Final Jeopardy Tiebreaker
User Avatar
Updated 4 months ago

From 1984 until 2016, if two players ended an episode of Jeopardy! with the same score, they were co-champions. After that, however, the seminal trivia show's producers decided it would make for a punchier, more manageable ending if tied players had to answer one last question to determine the winner. The new rule didn't seem to make much of a difference... until this past Friday!

Though this is the first use of a tiebreaker on a televised episode of the show, the rule has been used often during tournaments, where things can keep moving along only when there is a clear winner. 

Jeopardy! explained the slight change of format on their website:

The tiebreaker was first introduced in tournaments. The judges felt that a tiebreaker yielding one winner kept the gameplay brisk and competitive. In the years following the lift of the five-game maximum (the rule that contestants could only win up to five regular games), the judges concluded that it was fitting to bring that same level of competition to the regular games.

As soon as the tie occurred, Trebek dove in with his usual unflappable enthusiasm. The tie-breaking category: "Way Back in 2017." The answer: "Her April decision to call a snap parliamentary election proved less than brilliant on June 8." Laura buzzed in with the correct question, "Who is Theresa May?" Trebek immediately declared her the winner!

It may not have been a big deal for casual viewers, but diehard fans knew they had witnessed Jeopardy! history:

Not everyone was happy with the new rule:

Some fans merely objected to the format:

And, of course, there were questions:

But most fans were like:

Don't feel too bad for the player who snagged second place. She's going home with more cash than Scott.