What is ... punked?
Stanford University student Viraj Mehta caused double-takes during a “Jeopardy” College Championship match on Tuesday when he held up his middle finger while talking to host Alex Trebek about pizza.
In an interview before the show aired, Mehta, a math and computer science major, told the Stanford Daily he has wanted to be on the show since he was young.
“I knew that I was never going to be a professional football player, but I always figured that I am pretty good at trivia. I know a lot of random stuff,” he said.
To prepare for the show he soaked up even more random stuff by reading an almanac, Shakespeare plot summaries and a comic-book version of the Bible, he told the newspaper.
He watched episodes of the show holding a pen with a click top so he could practice buzzing in.
He was star-struck when he met Trebek for the first time. The longtime show host was wearing jeans and a Jack Daniels T-shirt.
“I thought, ‘This dude’s so cool,’” Mehta said.
Nothing has been reported to suggest that Mehta did it intentionally, though many are convinced he knew exactly what he was doing, and some people didn’t find it funny.
“This seemed to be a clear example of a purposeful move to generate some sort of additional attention, but the fact that it made it on the show for this length of time was also rather impressive,” wrote Uproxx.
Mehta won the game and will advance to the next round.