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‘Jeopardy!’ Makes Mistake About George Washington Bridge

The George Washington Bridge is seen with its American Flag flying in honor of the Port Authority's 90th Anniversary - Fort Lee, NJ - Apr 30, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

The George Washington Bridge is seen with its American Flag flying in honor of the Port Authority’s 90th Anniversary – Fort Lee, NJ – Apr 30, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to CBSNewYork)

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by Evan Bindelglass

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Everyone makes mistakes now and then, even the writers at “Jeopardy!”

On Tuesday night, there was a mistake that had to do with one of the New York City area’s many grand bridges.

There was a category in the episode, which was the second in the semifinal round of this year’s “Teen Tournament,” about historic people and places with “Washington” in their names called “Washington Yesterday.” The $1,200 clue read as follows: “It spans the Hudson River, contains 107,000 miles of wire & has 2 levels, each with 12 traffic lanes.”

The first contestant to ring in for the clue got the answer right, sort of. The contestant said “What is the Washington Bridge?” That was ruled acceptable, even though there is a separate Washington Bridge, which spans the Harlem River.

But that wasn’t the mistake, and Alex Trebek noted that it really is the George Washington Bridge.

The George Washington Bridge does have two levels, but each of them does not hold 12 lanes of traffic. The upper level has eight lanes (four each way) and the lower level has six (three each way).

There is an explanation for how the “Jeopardy!” writers might have made this mistake. The Port Authority website does list the number of toll lanes for each level as 12, but that is not the number of lanes of traffic that each level actually carries, as traffic merges after the toll plazas.

As for the 107,000 miles of cable number, that was apparently correct.

And now, on to the category “The News.”

The clue: This is what happens next.

The answer: What is the end of the article?

What’s your favorite “Jeopardy!” category? Sound off in the comments section below.