It takes a lot of smarts to get chosen for Jeopardy!—but even smart people freeze under pressure sometimes. Here are 10 of those instances.
1. THE $75,000 GAMBLE
Seventeen-year-old Leonard Cooper was pretty sure he was going to win the 2013 Jeopardy! Teen Tournament and take home the grand prize of $75,000. And when you're that confident in a win, it doesn't really matter what your answer is.
2. WATSON'S BIG ERROR
Even computers mess up sometimes, as IBM's question answering computer proved in 2011. Though Watson missed the mark, the manager of the Watson project was actually pleased with the computer's performance: The multiple question marks showed that Watson "realized" it was unable to gather enough information to be confident in its answer.
3. THE MOST AWKWARD ANSWER EVER
In April 2015, a contestant replied to an awkward answer with an awkward question. For the record, the correct response was "puberty."
4. A VERY COSTLY NICKNAME
Though he would have won with a correct answer, this teen tournament contender lost everything after making a costly spelling mistake.
5. WOLF BLITZER GETS EVERYTHING WRONG
Feel like you never get any Jeopardy! questions right? You'll feel better after watching this clip of CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer whiff it over and over again.
6. A SHORT WORKDAY INDEED
7. SOUNDS LIKE A BOND GIRL REJECT
In 2011, a Teen Tournament contestant named Raya buzzed in without really knowing how to answer. Her attempt to fill in the blanks is at least PG-13.
8. CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR
Contestant Jonathan Couser had a similar experience in 2013, when he buzzed in thinking he could guess the answer based on the clue. He couldn't.
9. KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR'S ANSWER IS BETTER THAN THE RIGHT ONE
During "Power Players Week" in 2012, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave an incorrect response—but the laugh it got from the crowd should have been worth a few bucks.
10. OOPS, WRONG SPORT
Though buzzing in early can provide an advantage, it can also pay to listen to the whole question first. We're guessing this contestant stopped paying attention after "assists."