P. Claire Dodson
March 03, 2018 12:11 pm

If you didn’t know it was possible for there to be a Jeopardy! tiebreaker, you’re not alone. The classic game show, which first aired in 1964, just saw its first actual tie in regular gameplay. And the sudden death round to declare the true winner was both stressful and lighting fast.

The Jeopardy! tiebreaker occurred during the episode that aired on Thursday, March 1st when contestants Laura and Sarah both missed the Final Jeopardy! question. Their penalties knocked them both down to twin amounts of $6,799. In the past few years, Jeopardy! has instituted a no co-champion rule, which applied tournament tiebreaker rules to the regular games. A Jeopardy! tiebreaker and sudden death round means that host Alex Trebek poses a new question in a random category to the tie-ees. Whoever is the first to buzz in and answer correctly becomes the champion.

During Thursday’s episode, the category was “Way Back In 2017.” The answer: “Her April decision to call a snap Parliamentary election proved less than brilliant on June 8.” Laura was the first to buzz in, and she correctly questioned, “Who is [Theresa] May?” In a matter of seconds, Laura was the new champion. It all happened so fast, we barely had time to process it.

ICYMI, the new Jeopardy! rules were announced back in 2016.

And they definitely make the game more exciting, since there can be no double champions. The scenario, however, is pretty rare. It also requires some pretty excellent math skills, so we tip our hats to these two ladies.

Watch the historic Jeopardy! tiebreaker below.

Apparently, there are some other rare scenarios on Jeopardy! that we should be prepared for.

For example, if all three players bet everything and lose in Final Jeopardy!, none of them get to come back as returning champs. So we assume that means that even a Jeopardy! tiebreaker winner who had a $0 balance wouldn’t return in the next episode. Instead, there would be three all-new contestants. Huh.

Another interesting tidbit: If all three players have $0 or negative balances at the end of Double Jeopardy!, they don’t play a Final Jeopardy! round. It’s just over. But as of now, that’s never happened.

Who knew there was so much trivia to be learned about Jeopardy! itself?

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