Who is Phil Murphy? ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Can’t Name NJ Governor

"Jeopardy!" contestants had no problem answering other New Jersey questions, but one about Governor Murphy left the group puzzled.

Phil Murphy giving a speech
Not a single "Jeopardy!" contestant knew Phil Murphy is New Jersey's governor this week. Photo by Michael Brochstein/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy left the “Jeopardy!” contestants stumped on Tuesday.

Not a single player—even Amy Schneider, one of the game show’s most successful contestants ever— could think of Murphy’s name when a $1,000 clue read: “In 2021 he became the first Democrat re-elected Jersey’s Gov. since Brendan Byrne in 1977; maybe an arena will be named for him.”

The show aired just hours after Murphy was sworn in for his second term.

The clip eventually made its way to Murphy himself, and it’s safe say the state’s 56th governor was confident in his answer.

“I’d like to buzz in, @Jeopardy! #InaugurationNJ,” Murphy, 64, jokingly tweeted Wednesday morning.

None of the three contestants on Tuesday’s show are from New Jersey. Schneider, who has a 35-game winning streak and has earned a total of $1,164,000 including Tuesday’s show, hails from Oakland, California, while Dan Tobin lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Taryn Agati lives in Watertown Connecticut.

Fans of “Jeopardy!” from New Jersey were quick to identify their home state’s governor even when the players couldn’t. “@NJGov shaking my head, none of these 3 on @Jeopardy knew @GovMurphy was re-elected in 2021. Also, wild it aired same day of inauguration,” wrote one Twitter user.

“The Jeopardy! contestants not knowing who Phil Murphy is amused me,” another user wrote.

The Murphy question was part of a category dedicated to the Garden State called “New Jersey, New Jersey.” While the hint about the governor drew blank stares, contestants got the rest of the category’s questions correct. Think you can do the same? Reply in the comments below, or on Twitter or Instagram.

For $200: “Hey, this Ivy League school, what exit? It moved from Elizabeth to Newark before finding its final home in 1756.”

For $400: “Traffic is tricky on this bridge across the Hudson from Jersey to New York, so a lower deck with 6 more lanes was finished in 1962.”

For $600: “This singer who is Jersey all the way brought Richie Sambora into his self-named band.”

For $800: “You can land on St. James Place, Pacific Avenue or Vermont Avenue in this oceanfront resort city.”

If you need any help with those, you can watch the full “Jeopardy!” episode here. The run on New Jersey questions starts at the 2:52 mark.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown