A Contestant Flipped Off Alex Trebek (& America) On Jeopardy

Photo: Sony Pictures Television.
If you think that Jeopardy! is a sleepy game show created exclusively for MENSA members to show off, think again. We'd like to present you with a contestant with a little bit of a bad-boy streak. Texas native Viraj Mehta, a Stanford University math and computer science major, managed to flip the bird to host Alex Trebek (and America) while he was in the show's College Championship edition. Was it subtle? Yes. Was it definitely a middle finger? Yes, indeed.
How did Mehta manage to get away with throwing up the obscene gesture on national TV? According to E! News, the contestant was talking about pizza. For those who haven't tuned into the show or have forgotten all about it because of Netflix and reality TV, Trebek steps away from his host lectern and interviews the episode's contestants after each commercial break. It's one way to get to know the competitors and lets them show a bit of personality. Mehta used his interview as an opportunity to talk about what he's doing at Stanford and give Trebek a middle finger. That takes some guts.
"You took a class in differential geometry, which helped you analyze another food product," Trebek said.
"Yeah, there's a theorem in differential geometry that explains really, well, why, if you fold a slice of pizza, the tip stays in the air so you can eat it easily, and that was really cool to work out in class," Mehta explained. While he was gesturing and miming pizza slices, angles, and munching on cheese and pepperoni, his middle finger was in the air. Smooth. E! News reports that the gesture was visible for about seven seconds. No blurring. No censorship.
Viewers weren't quite sure whether or not they were really seeing a contestant flip the bird. Thankfully, after the episode aired (Mehta moved on to the next round), he hopped on Twitter to explain that yes, that was his middle finger. Then, he proceeded to lay on the sass.
We're guessing that when he makes his next appearance, the camera crew will be a little more careful.

More from Pop Culture