Jeopardy! last night dredged up the death of hitchBOT with a question about the late hitchhiking Canadian robot that met its end here in Philadelphia in 2015. But it wasn’t the first time the show threw some shade our way over the bot’s tragic death.
On Wednesday’s show, host Alex Trebek queried contestants about hitchBOT’s method of travel, giving the clue, “As a social experiment, in 2014 a bot traveled 6,000 miles through Canada this way, but in the U.S. in 2015, soon met a bad end.”
Naturally, the clue prompted a flood of responses online, but not with its answer, which is “What is hitchhiking?” Instead, many folks gloated about the bot’s untimely death.
Wednesday, however, marked the second time the show used the hitchBOT clue. Back in Feb. 2016, Trebek presented contestants with a similar statement: “In 2015, a robot that had traveled 6,000 miles by this method was damaged beyond repair in Philadelphia.” Again, the answer is “What is hitchhiking?”
At least this time, though, they left us out of it by name.
Philly, however, will likely never live down the bot’s death here. Earlier this year, for example, John Oliver focused on the Philly connection to hitchBOT’s demise on Last Week Tonight, saying that it had “absolutely everything to do with Philadelphia.”
“Sending a hitchhiking robot to Philadelphia is not unlike sending a beautiful bell symbolizing freedom into Philadelphia," Oliver said back in March, referring to our most famous historical attraction. “There is no way it’s going to remain in one piece."
Jeopardy! is currently on a roll, with juggernaut contestant James Holzhauer racking up another $69,033, bringing his 30 game total winning streak to $2,343,971, just $196,729 behind record holder Ken Jennings. He did not answer the hitchBOT question, though; that went to Faizan Kothari, an investment banking analyst from New York.