'Jeopardy!' Viewers Rip Show Over 'Bizarre' Ruling On White House Question

A “Jeopardy!” clue on former first lady Pat Nixon ― and a contestant’s unaccepted reply ― is getting criticism from viewers who called host Ken Jennings’ ruling “unfair and illogical.”

Contestant Alex Lamb, a data scientist from California, received the Nixon clue during the “The Real (White House) Wives of D.C.” category in an episode that aired Wednesday.

“She met the future president in 1938 when they both tried out for a local play in Whittier, California,” read the clue, which arrived during the Double Jeopardy round.

Lamb’s reply of “Nixon” didn’t fly with Jennings, who asked for clarification. Lamb replied with “Richard Nixon.”

Contestant and Los Angeles attorney Brian Ross eventually won the clue after he provided the former first lady’s full name, according to TV Insider.

Lamb placed third in the episode, well behind Ross and Pam Sung, a physician-scientist from upstate New York who won the game, the outlet noted.

Viewers on the game show’s Reddit page wrote that they didn’t like the “be more specific” response to Lamb.

“clue already had a ‘she,’ the theme of the category was already set, just didn’t make sense,” wrote one user. “As far as the actual game goes, probably not a major effect in this game, but in the long run, it sets an odd precedent for these sorts of things as long as the show goes without its writers on hand.”

Lamb replied to the user via his Reddit account. “You can imagine that once I answered Nixon, my mind pivoted completely to the next clue,” he wrote. “So when I was asked for clarification, I got caught flatfooted and that’s how it goes! Should have paused and answered 🤷🏻‍♂️.”

Others called the ruling “bizarre” while a different user called it “really unfair and illogical.”

Another pointed to the ambiguity surrounding the expectations for first lady first names before pointing to instances in past shows where last names were accepted.

They also cited a clue on former first lady Barbara Bush that required a first name in addition to a last name despite last names being otherwise approved in the category.

“But I’m struggling to find another example (besides today) of a ‘be more specific’ for a first lady first name,” the user wrote.

HuffPost has reached out to representatives from “Jeopardy!,” who were not immediately available to comment.