This is Ari. Here he is losing, and yet, in a much more important sense, here he is WINNING.Sony, via Gawker

Last night, a woman named Talia Lavin made Jeopardy! history. Not knowing the answer to her “Final Jeopardy!” clue—“This song from a 1999 animated film about censorship had a word censored from its Oscar performance”—she wrote, instead, “what is the ballad of turd ferguson.” (She added: “ps. hi mom :).”)

The answer was a reference to the Saturday Night Live take on Celebrity Jeopardy!, in which Burt Reynolds (played by Norm Macdonald) insists that Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) call him “Turd Ferguson.” Because, he tells Trebek, “It’s a funny name.”

Which: Yes, yes it is. But Lavin, fortunately, is by no means the first Jeopardy! contestant to take the agony of game-show defeat and turn it into a triumph for all humanity. Below, in her honor, a tribute to those great Americans who made Alex Trebek laugh and squirm and say “turd” on national television. The crazy ones, the rebels, the dreamers, the jokesters who remind us that losing can be, if you’re clever about it, a sure route to winning.

* * *

Contestant: Talia Lavin

Setting: September 2015

Wager: $600

Clue: “This song from a 1999 animated film about censorship had a word censored from its Oscar performance.”

Actual answer: “Blame Canada,” from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

Given answer: “what is the love ballad of turd ferguson ps. hi mom :)”

EW

Contestant: Choyon Manjrekar

Setting: May 2015

Wager: $0

Clue: “A Christian hymn and a Jewish holiday hymn are both titled this, also the name of a 2009 Tony-nominated musical.”

Actual answer: Rock of Ages

Given answer: “WHAT IS KINKY BOOTS?”

The Huffington Post

Contestant: Tom Kunzen

Setting: November 2011

Wager: unknown

Clue: “Harpo Marx was among this group when it met in NYC’s Rose Room for its final time, in 1943, and found there was nothing left to say.”

Actual answer: the Algonquin Round Table

Given answer: “What is [a rage face]”

Parade

Contestant: John Krizel

Setting: November 2011 [the same game as Kunzen]

Wager: unknown

Clue: “Harpo Marx was among this group when it met in NYC’s Rose Room for its final time, in 1943, and found there was nothing left to say.”

Actual answer: the Algonquin Round Table

Given answer: “What is I have no idea.”

Parade

Contestant: Jared Cohen

Setting: June 2006

Wager: $1

Clue: “The original one of these on Massachusetts’s Little Brewster Island was built in 1716; automation didn’t come until 1998.”

Actual answer: a lighthouse

Given answer: “What is KEBERT XELA” (Alex Trebek’s name spelled backwards—a reference to this.)

Parade

Contestant: Ken Jennings

Setting: February 2011 (the episode that found Jennings, who provided the correct “Final Jeopardy!” answer, still losing to the supercomputer Watson)

Wager: $1,000

Clue: “William Wilkinson’s ‘an account of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia’ inspired this author’s most famous novel.”

Actual answer: Bram Stoker

Given answer: “Who is Stoker? (I FOR ONE WELCOME OUR NEW COMPUTER OVERLORDS)”

Parade

Contestant: Ari Voukydis

Setting: June 2014

Wager: $2,700

Clue: “In 1891, this European said, ‘Perhaps my factories will put an end to war sooner than your congresses.’”

Actual answer: Alfred Nobel

Given answer: “Who is This handsome gentleman?”

Gawker

Contestant: Leonard Cooper

Setting: Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, February 2013

Wager: $0

Clue: “On June 6, 1944 he said, ‘The eyes of the world are upon you.’”

Actual answer: General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Given answer: “WHO is some guy in Normandy. But I just won $75,000!”

Grantland

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