‘Jeopardy!’ pandemic answer freaks viewers out

An eerie foreshadowing of the current crisis on the popular show.

An answer on a recent episode of Jeopardy! has spooked viewers who are quarantined at home.

On an episode that aired Tuesday, Nathaniel Miller of Yale gave an answer to a question that is eerily attuned to the current events. He chose $800 “Health & Medicine” and a clue that read: “From a Greek word for people, it describes a disease that affects many people at one time.”

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“What is a pandemic?” Miller responded.

“We’ll accept that,” host Alex Trebek said.

Miller ultimately won $24,001 in the College Championship round and advanced to the semifinals. He told the Yale Daily News that the process for him to appear on the game show began last September.

“I have been watching Jeopardy for as long as I can remember,” Miller said.

“Over time, I saw myself getting better at it, and I knew that I would love to try out someday but it wasn’t necessarily something I had been eyeing intently for years. I heard about the online audition for the College Championship (through an Instagram ad actually) and figured I may as well try it, and luckily it worked out.”

The episode was filmed Feb. 3 and Feb. 4, a full month before the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Population, there have been almost 380,000 cases of people infected by the disease in the U.S. and more than 12,000 have died. It has led to the government advising social distancing and wearing masks to stop the spread of the disease.

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“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news conference in Geneva last month. “It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

Photo: Jeopardy