It’s safe to say Mayim Bialik has had a series of ups and downs while hosting “Jeopardy.” Since taking her spot behind the podium, viewers have criticized her clothes and humor, and even the show’s producers wanted her to change her delivery. The TV star has held a strong poker face despite all of this. However, on Thursday’s episode, Bialik showed emotion after a contestant hit a nerve.
During the episode, “The Big Bang” star asked the current reigning champion, Ryan Long, what he plans to do with his prize money, which totals around $280,000.
Long answered, “The only thing I have planned is taking my son on a trip. He wants to come out here [to Los Angeles]. He’s been curious about what I’ve been doing. He wants to come to California. He wants to go to the theme parks.” Like everyone watching at home, Bialaik was struck by the emotional comment.
“The best thing is, I have time to do these things with him now,” he added. “I don’t have to, you know, work and say, ‘I can’t do it.’ Now we can just go wherever we want.” Bialik, who has two sons of her own, was undeniably teary-eyed. She fanned her face and said, “That is wonderful, gave me chills.”
After the moment aired, viewers were also clearly moved by Long’s remarks. Many took to Twitter to comment on the sweet moment that gave us a glimpse into Long’s life off-camera.
“I have never rooted for a Jeopardy champion more than I root for Ryan Long,” one user wrote. “Ryan Long made me tear up,” someone else said, and, “Ryan is just a damn good human being. And a good father, trying his best.”
Ryan Long looks to continue his winning streak on ‘Jeopardy!’
Before he became a reigning champ on the quiz show, the 39-year-old ride-share drive from Philly wasn’t without hardship. Right before he entered his senior year of high school, his father passed away, making it hard for him to graduate.
In January of 2021, he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized. As a result, he could not go to work, making it hard for him to provide for his son. He and his family found themselves living paycheck to paycheck. However, his luck would change when he started appearing on “Jeopardy!”
On Friday, Long sealed the deal on yet another win on the show, bringing his winning streak to 16. He currently holds the ninth-longest winning streak on the show, and if he wins eight more times, he’ll tie with Canadian tutor Mattea Roach’s 23-game streak, which ended in May. He’s also secured his spot in the upcoming Tournament of Champions.
Bialik hosted “Jeopardy!” for the fourth week in a row, returning after former champ Ken Jennings’ prior three weeks behind the podium.