Jeopardy Contestant Says He Didn’t Mean To Flip America The Bird


Jeremy Henderson Freelance Reporter
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“Jeopardy!” contestant Viraj Mehta thinks “it’s super cool to be temporarily famous,” but swears he didn’t meant to shoot America the bird.

“It was what I would call a beautiful accident,” the Stanford mathematics student says of the one-finger salute he held for six seconds on Tuesday’s night episode of Jeopardy! (RELATED: People Can’t Stop Talking About What This College ‘Jeopardy’ Contestant Did On Camera)

Jeopardy! producers were either oblivious or unfazed by the now viral gesture from their College Championship semifinalist, which they included in the teaser tweeted out a few hours before the show aired.

“One of the other contestants mentioned it to me (during the filming),” Mehta says. “But nobody from the Jeopardy! team pointed it out.”

He agrees, however, that he was definitely pointing it out.

“I definitely noticed when Jeopardy tweeted my contestant interview,” he says. “And it was pretty blatant.”

Blatant, but unintentional.

“Trebek seemed like a cool guy so I hope he doesn’t think badly of me,” Mehta says. “At the same time, it’s been a lot of fun to have made a rude hand gesture on national TV. Also, since GIFS are silent, I think this was a very meme-able moment.”

Should would expect any more when he returns later this week for the Finals?

“Nothing extra stands out in my memories of tomorrow [Thursday] and Friday,” he says, “as far as I know.”