A contestant participating in last Friday’s Jeopardy! was stumped by host Alex Trebek’s final question, but her wrong answer ended up becoming an instant classic.
NPR producer Becky Sullivan was in second place on the show, after the third place contestant was forced to exit before the Final Jeopardy round. The remaining two contestant were then asked to identify the name of a flower by its picture and by its name also being “a disparaging term for people on the political left.”
Sullivan didn’t know the answer, which was was “bleeding heart,” so she wrote “pansy” instead.
The response drew laughter from the show’s studio audience, and Trebek chuckled, “Yep, you found a way to insult liberals in this country.”
Trebek added, “You lost all your money.”
The answer cost Sullivan $6,000, but she later revealed she still walked away with $2,000 as the runner-up.
“I have to admit I had no idea that bleeding hearts were flowers. But you only get one chance to be on Jeopardy! — and I didn’t want to get all the way to Final Jeopardy and not even come up with a guess,” Sullivan wrote Monday. “So I wrote down the name of the only flower I could think of that could also be used as a “disparaging term”: a pansy — as in a wimp or a coward.”