Ken Jennings jokes that 'Jeopardy!' 'shafted' him on this question when he was a contestant 18 years ago

<em>Jeopardy!</em> host Ken Jennings is having a laugh. (Photo: Lisa Rose/Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings is having a laugh. (Photo: Lisa Rose/Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings is throwing it back, way back to when he was a contestant.

On the game show's official TikTok account Wednesday, he acknowledged that footage from the Oct. 8, 2004 episode, on which he competed and, of course, won — he's the Greatest of All Time for a reason — is making its rounds on the platform. It's one of the times he gave an incorrect answer, at least according to the judges.

Given the clue, "This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker," the then software engineer from Salt Lake City answered, "What is a hoe?"

The host at the time, the late Alex Trebek, gave a "Whoa!" Trebek was obviously amused and said dryly, "They teach you that in school in Utah, huh?"

The correct response, which was given by contestant Al Lindke, was "What is a rake?"

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"I think the idea is the clue says it's 'an immoral pleasure seeker,' and we don't want to characterize all hoes that way," Jennings said on TikTok. "Rakes, apparently, we're OK with that aspersion on their character."

He added, "I still think I was shafted, quite frankly, I think I'm owed $200, and you know, maybe the writers should get a pool together."

Late
Late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings, one of the show's current hosts, pose during the "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" in 2005. (Photo: Sony Pictures Television/Courtesy: Everett Collection)

A lot of the commenters agreed with him. They said things like, "Give him the money," "Justice for ken jennings" and "Ive always said that should have been accepted." Another said, "I remember shouting the same answer at the TV when it aired, and my whole family burst out laughing."

Many said that Jennings's comments made them "feel old," because the game took place 18 years ago.

Still others weren't familiar with the term "rake," which, for what it's worth, Merriam-Webster does define as a "dissolute person," if you look way down the page.

People liked seeing Jennings, who shares hosting duties with Mayim Bialik, as a contestant again, too. The game in question aired about two-thirds of the way through his record-setting 74-game run on the TV favorite.