'Jeopardy!' fans call out an inaccurate answer on the show

With George Stephanopoulos serving as guest-host on Jeopardy! Thursday, there was a clue from the “Time For Science” category about the discoveries of famed astronomer, Percival Lowell. But after viewers took a telescope to the answer, it was discovered that there was most likely a mistake made by the show.

“Percival Lowell thought he saw these on the surface of Venus — some think it was a reflection of the blood vessels in his eye,” Stephanopoulos said, reading the clue.

Defending champion Tyler Vandenberg, a Marine from the Washington, D.C. area, buzzed in to say, “What are canals?” It was deemed correct, he was awarded $1,600, and the show continued. But as it turns out, Lowell is actually well known in history books for discovering, and writing a lot about, the possibility of canals on Mars. And, as was accurately pointed out on Twitter, what he saw on Venus he described as “spokes,” which many believe he actually mistook his own eye for.

So while the clue was technically correct, the question should have been “What are spokes?” And it seems the viewers are right – it is a “big booboo on part of Jeopardy.”

Percival Lowell thought there were canals on MARS, not Venus. Big booboo on part of @Jeopardy. #jeopardy

— Lindaama 🇺🇲🌈🌊 (@LindaAma) July 15, 2021

@Jeopardy a clue today was incorrect. It claimed Percival Lowell thought there were canals on Venus. He really thought he observed canals on Mars.

— James Szafran (@szafranjim) July 15, 2021

Pretty sure @Jeopardy made a mistake in one of its clues tonight. Lowell was known for believing he saw canals on Mars, not Venus.

— Samuel Pomerantz (@hopefulastro) July 15, 2021

I think @Jeopardy had a wrong answer/question tonight… the answer was “Percival Lowell observed these features on Venus that scholars think were his own blood vessels,” & they allowed ‘canals.’ He famously observed canals on Mars, what he saw on Venus he described as spokes.

— Sam Cox (@sammyringo) July 15, 2021

And while it could be difficult to determine whether that $1,600 boost and taking control of the board is what ultimately helped propel Vandenberg to his second straight victory, viewers on Twitter don’t seem to mind. Especially because he has quickly become a fan-favorite contestant with his impressive smarts and status as an active duty officer in the Marines.

Jeopardy! airs weeknights, check your local listings.

Check out what viewers had to say about this Ohio State-related Final Jeopardy! clue:

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