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Controversial "Jeopardy!" Champ Slammed for "Arrogant" In-Game Behaviors

Yogesh Raut's "smug" remarks have fans riled up on social media.

Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions (ToC) winner Yogesh Raut is one of the most controversial players to ever compete on the Alex Trebek Stage. Over the course of his Jeopardy! career, Raut has been ridiculed by fans for his dramatic buzzing techniques and unsavory in-game behaviors. He's also gotten heat from his Jeopardy! peers for bashing the beloved quiz show online. And now, Raut is getting flak for his unsportsmanlike attitude on the Season 2 finale of Jeopardy! Masters.

RELATED: "Jeopardy!" Champ Slammed for "Awkward" Response to Fellow Players: "Sore Loser."

On May 22, the Masters tournament came to a head when contestants James Holzhauer, Victoria Groce, and Raut advanced to the finals. Groce and Raut were neck and neck for much of the competition, but it was ultimately Groce who came up on top. However, it's Raut who's making post-game headlines for his "arrogant" behavior.

The Washington-based scientist found himself quibbling over semantics with host Ken Jennings throughout the game. According to The Sun, the pair were dueling over the correct pronunciation of "Everest" after Jennings read a clue that said, "In 1823, this eponymous man was elevated to superintendent of the survey of India."

Raut was the first to buzz in, answering, "Who is Everest." While his answer was correct, his pronunciation was not. Raut pronounced it Ee-ver-est, only for Jennings to correct his articulation with the Ever-est pronunciation.

Before Jennings could read the next clue, Raut responded, "He pronounced it Ee-ver-est." Jennings moved the game forward, but not before letting out a quiet snicker.

In a post-game Reddit thread, fans were quick to chastise Raut's "smug" behavior and sideline the former champ from their list of Jeopardy! greats.

RELATED: "Jeopardy!" Producer Defends "Brutal" Category After Viewer Complaints.

"Yogesh correcting the pronunciation of Everest really proves his nerd bonafides," wrote one Redditor, to which someone else responded, "I thought it was shockingly rude and arrogant. Ken's chuckle was a gracious reaction."

"People were hoping he'd redeemed himself after his temper tantrum when he lost his original run, but I just don't see it," said another, adding that Raut's remarks "cements him in my mind as one of the most smug players I've ever seen."

"I agree completely. He's a jerk," chimed another fan.

Raut ruffled feathers yet again when he mispronounced the name of a famous hip-hop group during the sports category "The World Revolves Around Jason Kelce." Masters contestants were treated to a surprise cameo from the retired football player himself, who virtually offered Jeopardy! clues related to his own life.


"I was a key part of our quarterback sneak known as the 'Tush Push.' So I always smile knowingly when I hear their song, 'Ah, push it, push it good, ah push it, push it real good,'" Kelce offered.

Raut was the first player to hit the buzzer, answering, "Who was Salt and Pepa." As '80s hip-hop fans know, the group's name is actually Salt-N-Pepa.

Despite his mispronunciation, Raut was still awarded the points—but not before Jennings could correct his pronunciation.

"Yes, I think they might've said Salt-N-Pepa, but you got it," Jennings said. He waited a beat before adding, "Like Ee-ver-est."

On Reddit, fans argued that Raut's answer was technically incorrect. Several also slammed Jeopardy! for being inconsistent with its mispronunciation rules, citing a similar incident that occurred in 2018 when a player answered "Gangster Paradise" instead of "Gangsta Paradise" in reference to Coolio's rap hit.

"I'm surprised they accepted Salt and Pepa for Salt N Pepa. Seems like a Gansta's Paradise situation where too much was pronounced," claimed one person.

Another said, "Salt 'AND' Pepa should definitely have been ruled incorrect."

"I can't believe they gave him credit for this. If book/movie titles have to be exact shouldn't artists' names also have to be exact? We thought for sure they were going to come back from the break with a scoring correction," a fan reasoned.

On X, one user wrote, "Wait… they accepted Yogesh's clearly pronounced Salt AND Pepa as correct, when GangstER's Paradise was famously ruled incorrect?"

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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