That was exactly the point in case last night when Jeopardy! contestant Matt King took to the podium and recorded one of the lowest scores of all time.
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Jeopardy! has brought fame to many would-be nameless faces. Current co-host Ken Jennings, wouldn’t be where he is today without the fame of Jeopardy! bestowed upon him when he became the highest winning contestant ever. Or Brad Rutter, who became famous for his long winning streak and went on to appear in a slew of other popular game shows. But on the other spectrum, contestants are often remembered likewise for bombing answers on the most popular trivia show ever. That was exactly the point in case last night when Jeopardy! contestant Matt King took to the podium and recorded one of the lowest scores of all time.
Hailing as a lawyer from Lewisville, Texas, Matt started the game fairly strong. He quickly gained $2,400 as he displayed his strength in categories pertaining to sports–a category that is usually notoriously a nuisance category for contestants. But unfortunately for the Texas native, his luck would soon run out, as he ended his night on Jeopardy! with ten wrong answers and only eight correct responses that landed him a total of -$6,400. And if the extreme deficit wasn’t enough, the score also made him ineligible to participate in the final Jeopardy round. Ken Jennings honorably offered his commiserations saying, “Matt, I’m afraid you took your swings–but we’re going to have to say goodbye to you here.”
Matt King joins the ranks of other notoriously low-scoring contestants, like Patric Pearce. Pearce gained popularity this past summer when he went on the long-running trivia show only to break the record and officially become the lowest scoring contestant ever with -$7,400. Pearce’s loss was so monumental and widely discussed that it overshadowed what was meant to be the real focus on that episode; the long-awaited first episode that celebrity LeVar Burton would guest host. Pearce stole the record from his lowest-scoring predecessor, Stephanie Hall, who previously held the record with a losing score of $6,800. Hall, who eventually opened up about her loss in an interview with Slate, discussed the negative impact being one of the biggest losers on the show can have. She admitted that before her episode aired, she deactivated her Twitter in order to avoid the negativity she expected to receive from social media.
Meanwhile, one of King’s fellow contestants from last night is doing particularly well and also making headlines. Amy Schneider, a trans engineering manager residing in Oakland, California, celebrated a momentous win during last week’s episodes of Jeopardy! when she not only won big but also became the new champ during Trans Awareness week. Amy revealed to Newsweek that she had been attempting to make it to the show for over a decade.
While it is likely that losers on Jeopardy! are not looking to bank on fame from boasting such low scores, the amount of support social media has shown Matt King since last night is promising. Sure, many people are taking the chance to poke at the contestant, bringing up famous parodies of the show as seen on Saturday Night Live, but many are also showing the lawyer respect. After all, not everyone has what it takes to make it on Jeopardy!, and we definitely applaud Matt King for making his best attempt.