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JEOPARDY! fans were outraged that Martha Bath, a 1-day champ with an amazing backstory, lost for what many said was only one reason.

Before the shock loss, she put on quite a show and astounded host Ken Jennings with a story playing 50 years ago.

1-day Jeopardy! champ Martha wowed Ken Jennings who just smiled in amazement over her storyCredit: ABC
But fans fumed that she lost for one brutal reason on ThursdayCredit: ABC

Jeopardy!'s shiny new season premiered on September 12th and alum Ken Jennings, 48, is hosting until January.

As Season 38 wrapped and before the now-airing Season 39, he and actress Mayim Bialik were officially announced as the permanent replacements for the late, great Alex Trebek.

Last night's winner had fans fondly remembering the past - and even further back than the late Alex who hosted starting in 1984 - as Martha revealed she had played before, in 1972 during the Art Fleming Era.

Tonight many viewers wanted her to win again, but before she, unfortunately, didn't, she amazed Ken with a story.

Tonight the retired CPA from Seattle, Washington with a 1-day total of $30,800 faced Lynda Tsuboi - a communications specialist from New York City - and Michael Menkhus - a data analyst from Kansas City, Missouri.

During the Q&A segment, the lovely lady revealed to host Ken how her time with the original host of Jeopardy! went down.

Ken asked: "What was it like taping with Art Fleming in the early 70s?"

She joked: "Well, you didn't have all these electronics. It was much simpler. Art was a wonderful man."

"I played with [contestants] Ford and Connie..."

Ken was wowed by this and said with a gasp: "You still know their names!"

"I do," she replied as the crowd loved the history of it all.

During last night's game she had revealed: "50 years ago this spring, I was on the original daytime show with Art Fleming in New York."

"I won $40 and a set of encyclopedias and I still have them," she said with a chuckle.

However, tonight fans were not laughing after she lost, some were pretty sad to see it.


Going into Final Jeopardy, a beard-boasting Michael had $18,600, Martha had $15,600 and Lynda $3,200.

The clue read: "In 2011 Leland, Mississippi, where Jim Henson grew up, honored Henson & his Muppets by renaming a bridge this, also a song title."

It was a triple-get, as all three correctly guessed "Rainbow Connection."

However, Michael came from behind in Double Jeopardy and cemented the win with a huge $12,601 wager, ending with $31,201.

He'll return tomorrow, and many viewers were dismayed that Martha will not.

Though he answered more clues than her, he was technically faster on the buzzer and that's what set them apart, they said.

He was first 50.88% of the time with 24 correct, 7 incorrect, while she buzzed in first 22.81% of the time, with 19 correct and a stunning 0 incorrect.

Those amazing stats meant they both had the same Coryat, or combined total stats, and fans felt it was unfair that she was beaten this way.

She was also 5/5 on rebound attempts, it was in fact clear that she knew almost every question.


One Redditor roared: "I'm not going to lie, and I really don't mean any disrespect to Michael, but I was VERY disappointed to see that Martha lost.

"One of the most precious contestants I've ever seen play the game.

"She played so exceedingly well and was so knowledgeable, but her buzzer timing holds her back.

"I would argue that her knowledge base outclasses Michael's.

Another wrote: "Good for her coming back to Jeopardy after 50 years.  I can't believe that guy won. Hope he loses tomorrow," they meanly added.

A third agreed it came down to speed, not smarts (though of course everyone is smart on Jeopardy!).

"Martha and Michael had nearly identical Coryats despite the latter being first in more than twice as often as the former."

And another: "Michael only won because of his youth and he was able to ring in faster than Martha.

"But by all accounts, Martha was the better player and her knowledge base was clearly much better. She just wasn't able to get in fast enough."

One more wrote: "I liked Martha very much and would like to have seen more of her. The fact that she got to be on Jeopardy twice in her lifetime tells me that set of Encyclopedias paid off!"

Last night fans were just amazed by her repeat appearance 50 years apart: "How many have been on both shows, I wonder?"

Surely the answer is not many - Art was the game show's original host, beginning in 1964 and until 1979, the show retooled in its modern iteration with Alex and Johnny Gilbert.

Of course, Michael who is now the reigning champ played a strong game - even it was unfortunate to see a player who missed zero questions lose.


Ken and Mayim began regularly filling in for the legendary Alex in 2021 after his tragic 2020 passing at age 80 and a whirlwind of Season 37 celebrity guest hosts.

They included Savannah Guthrie, fan-favorite LeVar BurtonDr. OzAaron RodgersAnderson Cooper, and many more who each scored a week or so at it.

The search also landed on former executive producer Mike Richards who scored the host gig from the inside before the shocking decision was "reversed" a week later when his misogynistic comments were unearthed.

Now, the two have been selected and the smoke has cleared on the heated host search.

Mayim will be hosting the spinoff Celebrity Jeopardy! on Sundays starting September 25th, then hosting the regular show in the new year.

Ken is also hosting the Second Chance Tournament airing next month and the weightier Tournament of Champions beginning October 31st.

Jeopardy! airs every weeknight - check your local listings.

Michael beat 1-day champ Martha despite missing more questions than herCredit: ABC
She missed zero questions, many fumed that buzzer speed was a tough way to go outCredit: ABC
After playing 50 years ago under Art Fleming, she buzzed in first on 22% tonight and got every clue right, but her victor buzzed in enough to stop her from a winning streakCredit: ABC