Ken Jennings Thinks Jeopardy Owes Him For A Raunchy Wrong Answer

Ken Jennings thinks he should have received credit for calling a hoe another name for an "immoral pleasure seeker" and a "long-handled garden instrument."

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

Ken Jennings Jeopardy

Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings became a household name because he has a fun personality to go along with his whip-smart intellect. This included a time in which he was asked what could be the name of both “an immoral pleasure seeker” as well as “a long-handled garden instrument.” He gave the funny answer “hoe” instead of the correct answer “rake,” and now, after a new generation of TikTok users have discovered this moment, Jennings says that the famous show owes him for providing a correct answer.

@jeopardy Cheers to whoever got the correct response to this Final #Jeopardy! clue 🍸 #FinalJeopardy! #cocktails #trivia #triviatok #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Jeopardy!

At the time, many were confused as to how and why Ken Jennings did not get credit for his Jeopardy answer. Plenty of people, including the late host Alex Trebek, seemed to think Jennings was going out of his way to provide a raunchy, joking answer. These days, though, Jenning believes the show should have paid him the $200 for getting that particular question right.

@jeopardy Replying to @geekedoutdiva Re: Hoe. The 🐐 has spoken. #Jeopardy! #bts #fyp #foryoupage ♬ original sound – Jeopardy!

The problem, of course, is that both answers are potentially correct. As Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings understands, a hoe can refer to both an “immoral pleasure seeker” as well as “a long-handled garden instrument.” And both then and now, audiences watching this moment were seized by the same question: what the heck’s a rake?

If you don’t want to look up your middle school English teacher on Facebook, a “rake” is just an old-timey word that means “a dissolute person.” However, we generally stopped using that word in conversations right after it stopped being fashionable to call good-for-nothing dudes “wastrels.” Therefore, Ken Jennings provided Jeopardy host Alex Trebek with a more modern word that happens to be correct (unlike some recent contestants).

To people who remember the actual controversial moment between Ken Jennings and Jeopardy producers, it’s been a bit sobering to discover how long ago this event really was. It seems like only yesterday that we were all laughing at a grinning Jennings answering “a hoe” on national television. Now, as TikTok teens lose it laughing at this clip, older fans of the show are trying to get over the fact that this happened a whopping 18 years ago!

ken jennings jeopardy

Of course, things have only gotten better for Ken Jennings since his original appearance on Jeopardy. Following the unfortunate passing of Alex Trebek, Jennings was one of a number of guests who took a turn at hosting the famous show. Eventually, he settled into a comfortable routine of hosting the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy while Blossom and Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik hosts the other episodes.

In other words, Ken Jennings isn’t exactly hurting for that $200 he feels that Jeopardy stole from him way back in the day, and he’s still unrepentant about the answer he gave. The general vibe on TikTok is that he was completely correct and shouldn’t have been penalized for giving an answer that happened to be funny. Still, we don’t think this veteran quiz show star is going to get an apology from Jeopardy producers anytime soon!