Did A Jeopardy Contestant Really Flip Off Alex Trebek? Watch What Happened

Not everybody gets a chance to shine on national television, so it's understandable that more extroverted people take advantage of the opportunity by doing something that stands out. Some say hello to their mom, some wish a loved one a Happy Birthday, and some point one specific finger out in a showy manner. That's what happened when Stanford student Viraj Mehta re-appeared during Jeopardy!'s traditional College Championship, where there was definitely some bird-flipping going on while Alex was going through the contestant stories segment. Watch and judge for yourself.

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Considering how much focus went into keeping that single digit extended, I don't think there's any possible way for Mr. Viraj Mehta to get away with any explanation that doesn't include the sentence, "Yeah, I was definitely sticking the finger just then when I was telling my story in my sweatshirt." The real question is really whether or not he's sticking the bird at Alex Trebek himself, who is only trying to learn about the guy's mathematical formula for eating pizza the right way. We should all be so lucky as to know how to eat pizza smarter. (Alex has been known to get fresh on occasion, though, so maybe there was beef backstage.)

The pragmatic side of anyone would want to assume that there was nothing actually amiss during Viraj Mehta's story, but as Alex was getting his last question in (beyond where the tweet cuts off), the contestant called the host a gouse, which is a slang term used to call someone an idiot or even worse! . . . Okay, so Mehta was probably talking about mathematician Carl Gauss, one of the most influential mathematicians to ever walk the planet, and was just using his last name to sound super-cool in front of a TV legend. Probably.

Still, I don't think I'm going to be convinced that The Case Of The Non-Missing Middle Finger is just an innocent misunderstanding. Mehta might not have been directing it at Alex, after all. Perhaps there was someone from the University of California, a rival school, who was convinced that the Stanford-goer would go home empty-handed. Taking a moment to blast that other person down a notch would be a good use of one's Jeopardy! story time, if that's what it was. Then again, maybe this contestant simply had no love for Alex Trebek's sick rapping skillz.

jeopardy viraj mehta

You can watch Jeopardy! every week day in syndication, so check your local listings to see when you can go for a true Daily Double next. After that, check out another weird Jeopardy! story and then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what's coming to the small screen in the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.