Ottawa clue stumps Jeopardy! contestants
OTTAWA -- If you caught 'Jeopardy!' Tuesday night, you probably knew the correct response to the final clue.
The Final Jeopardy category was world capitals, and the two players remaining were given a clue that likely had Ottawa fans shouting at their TVs.
The clue, as read by host Ken Jennings: “An annual event called Winterlude includes skating on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in this city.”
At this point, most Ottawa viewers, including CTV’s Patricia Boal, were probably screaming the correct response.
But both contestants were stumped. The first, Genesis Whitlock, said Paris. Then five-time champion Amy Schneider said Amsterdam.
Mayor Jim Watson says he wasn't surprised the contestants were stumped on the final question.
"It was blasphemy on their part that they didn’t even know what the capital of Canada was and that we have this amazing canal that you can skate on in the winter and boat on in the winter," said Watson.
Ottawa's Andrew Thomson, a two-time Jeopardy! champion, said he could have only dreamed of such an easy clue.
"I think I would have felt a deep sigh of relief before he even finished reading that clue as I could write Ottawa down," he said.
Even Jennings, the record-holder for the longest Jeopardy! winning streak, had a possible slip-up.
In response to the ‘Paris’ guess, he said, “No, the name is French, but it’s not Paris.”
The origin of Ottawa’s name is not French. It comes from the Algonquin word ‘Adawe,’ which means ‘to trade.’
However, it's possible Jennings was referring to the name 'Rideau Canal,' rather than Ottawa itself.
The late longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was a huge Ottawa booster. He graduated from the University of Ottawa, later donating millions of dollars to his alma mater. A building on campus now bears his name, and he would often return to the capital for visits.
Andy Saunders of TheJeopardyFan.com suggests the clue tripped up the contestants.
"I think that the show deliberately wrote that clue and category the way it did in order to potentially trip up the contestants," Saunders said. "And I believe they were certainly successful in doing that."
- with files from Dave Charbonneau, CTV News Ottawa