Skip to content

"Jeopardy!" Slammed for "Shameful" Answer Ruling: "One of the Worst Mistakes I've Seen"

Fans argue popular contestant Cris Pannullo was misled by a bad clue.

Devoted fans of Jeopardy! are no strangers to weighing in on controversial elements of their favorite game show. Whether it's hosting duties or player behavior, even the most minor slights can become hotly debated topics on social media—especially when they involve a popular contestant. In the latest dust-up, Jeopardy! viewers are calling a recent answer ruling "shameful" during a pivotal time for the show.

RELATED: Controversial Jeopardy! Player Slammed for "Rude and Gross" Remark During Game.

The controversy occurred during an earlier phase of the show's 2024 Tournament of Champions (ToC). The annual challenge brings back some of the most successful players to compete against one another for a chance at a $250,000 prize.

On an episode that aired Feb. 26, previous 21-day-streak winner and top tournament seed Cris Pannullo appeared alongside three-day winner Jared Watson and six-day winner Ben Goldstein. An answer to a question midway through the game is now drawing attention.

The problem began when Pannullo buzzed in for $1,000 in the "Memory" category. The clue was then revealed to be: "In comparing computer memory info, think before you give us this, the number of megabytes in a gigabyte."

After a pause, Pannullo answered "1,000," which was deemed incorrect by host Ken Jennings. Watson then buzzed in to steal with the answer "1,024," which was ruled correct and gave him control of the board.

Not long after, fans of the show took to social media to call out what they saw as a confusing clue that potentially upended Pannullo's run.

"Absolutely shameful of the Jeopardy! judges not to accept 1000 for the number of megabytes in a gigabyte last night," user @Panchromaticity posted in a message on X (formerly known as Twitter), adding it was "one of the worst mistakes I've ever seen them make" in a later reply.

While others jumped onto the thread to point out that "1,000" was still an acceptable answer, @panchromaticity also explained why Jennings was so specific in holding out for "1024."

"I didn't notice at the time, but they were specifically asking about memory, and it is true that there's a JEDEC standard that defines kilobyte, megabyte, and gigabyte as 2^10 bytes, 2^20 bytes, and 2^30 bytes, respectively," they wrote.

Others joined the conversation, trying to parse the confusing technical semantics involved. One person replied that the distinction lay between the decimal and binary terms used to describe the memory unit—adding that the term "mebibyte" would've likely made the clue clearer.

Some replied to the initial message to show they were equally distraught about the decision. "This makes me irrationally angry," one fan wrote, while another replied, "screaming crying throwing up rn."

However, others chose to subtly defend Jennings' ruling. "'Think before you give us this' pretty clearly translates as 'we're looking for 1024 and not 1000,'" one user wrote. "It's tacky, but I don't mind it."

Unfortunately, Pannullo never recovered from the wrong answer after ceding control of the board. Watson was able to locate all of the round's Daily Doubles and rack up enough money to handily win the game and eliminate the two other players in a shocking upset.

The tournament just reached its final round and will conclude in a best-of-seven series.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
Filed Under