NPR Producer's Incorrect Answer To Final Jeopardy Goes Viral

Oct 26, 2015
Originally published on November 10, 2015 3:24 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And speaking of notorious, what's it like when your "Jeopardy!" answer - well, actually your question - goes viral? One of our colleagues found out firsthand. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer Becky Sullivan reached Final Jeopardy and heard Alex Trebek read this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

ALEX TREBEK: Take a look. The flower pictured here is called this, also a disparaging term for people on the political left. Thirty seconds - good luck.

SHAPIRO: The right answer was bleeding heart. Here's Becky.

BECKY SULLIVAN, BYLINE: Look, I've got to admit, I didn't know that bleeding hearts were flowers. I wanted to at least guess, though, so I wrote down the only flower I could think of that was also a, quote, "disparaging term," a pansy.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

TREBEK: Becky, we're going to start with you. And I have a feeling that you have - you may have found a way to insult liberals in this country.

SULLIVAN: It was a surprise to me that Trebek can see the answers before they're revealed and a bigger surprise that he set up my guess like a joke.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

TREBEK: What is a pansy?

(LAUGHTER)

SULLIVAN: (Laughter). Yeah. Now that has more than a million views on Facebook, 600,000 on YouTube. It's been on the Reddit front page, BuzzFeed, my hometown newspaper, the Kansas City Star. This is not exactly what I had in mind when I went on "Jeopardy!" - seeing my name and face all over with thousands of strangers commenting and speculating about my intentions. I would've gotten second place no matter what. I was too far behind the winner to catch up. But second place on "Jeopardy!" still gets you 2000 bucks.

SHAPIRO: That's our ALL THINGS CONSIDERED producer Becky Sullivan. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.