The Worst Score Ever Recorded On Jeopardy

It is an incontrovertible fact of the universe that everyone is great at Jeopardy, as long as nobody else is watching. Add one other person to your party of viewers and the number of answers you get right halves. Add another, it halves again. It's called the Transitive Know-It-All Theory, and even if we just made it up, it's got legs.

Even knowing this, some people choose to heed Jeopardy's siren call, allowing the sweet Canadian tones of Alex Trebek to "trebeckon" them to the podium and test their intellectual mettle before an audience of snooty brain-boxes and Monday morning trivia quarterbacks. Usually, it goes unremarkably. Sometimes people win spectacularly, forever chiseling their names into game show history. And then some days, well, the figurative bear eats you. And nobody in the pantheon of Jeopardy contestants got eaten by that bear quite as hard as Stephanie Hull.

Alex Trebek and the no good very bad day

It was March 12th, 2015, and Stephanie was about to fulfill a lifelong dream. As she took her place behind the podium, a rush of adrenaline must have coursed through her body. One assumes that Run the Jewels 2 was playing on a loop in her head, but one may be editorializing here since everyone gets pumped up differently.

Whatever her process, it worked for the first round. She was tied for first with $1600 at the first commercial break. At the end of round one, she was in second place with $3200. Not unimpressive, especially considering that you couldn't name the fourth president at Duffy's trivia night last week. Try not to be judgmental is all we're saying.

In the second round, everything went sideways for Stephanie. In an interview with Slate, she recalled that the other contestants managed to find every Daily Double, which left her with catching up to do. Focusing in on the bottom of the board in an attempt to snag those tasty high-scoring cards, Stephanie had a run of bad luck. By the end of play, she was sitting at -$6800.

It was a historic loss, and the internet, which is an undulating pit of negativity where all of humanity's dark thoughts go, lashed out hard. The misogyny got turned up hard. Stephanie, being a forward thinking young woman, deactivated her Twitter account the day before the show aired. That was probably for the best.

On the up side, she did win $1000 for coming in third and went on to help found a support group for women who get bullied on social media after appearing on Jeopardy, which is niche but alarmingly common.