Many people talk about the high scores on Jeopardy!. In fact, a handful of former contestants have built their careers on the foundation of huge wins on the show. For instance, Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, and James Holzhauer all started with big wins. Those wins translated into careers in trivia as well as minor celebrity status. However, one contestant made history last night in a completely different way.
Patrick Pearce is a Fountain Valley, California-based product specialist. However, he won’t go down in history for his day-to-day work. He carved his name into the memories of millions of people last night by landing the lowest score in Jeopardy! history. Pearce finished the game with a heartbreaking -$7,400.
Things didn’t start well for Pearce. He ended the first round with -$200, according to Popculture. However, that isn’t too hard to come back from. One or two correct answers would have put him right back on track. That wasn’t the case though. There’s a good chance that the negative finish in the first round jangled his nerves. As a result, he could have had trouble really putting his head in the game. After all, contestants have to go through several rounds of testing and interviews to compete on Jeopardy!. So, he most likely had the skillset to win. However, it is hard to play against one’s own nerves.
Things got worse in the Double Jeopardy round. For many players, that round helps them stack even more winnings before moving on to the final round. Pearce, on the other hand, found it to be the opposite. His deficit only grew. He was well on his way to setting a new Jeopardy! record.
Jeopardy!’s rules bar any player with a negative balance from competing in Final Jeopardy. So, Pearce had to watch his fellow contestants play.
The night and Pearce’s massive Jeopardy! loss will go down in history, but he would probably like to forget about the night as soon as possible.
Monday Night’s Episode of ‘Jeopardy!’ Is Memorable for Another Reason
Unfortunately for Pearce, Monday night’s episode of Jeopardy! was one that many fans have been waiting on for months. In fact, some fans have been waiting to see LeVar Burton host the iconic quiz show since last November. Someone started a petition to get Burton behind the late Trebek’s lectern only days after Trebek passed away. Almost 300,000 people signed that petition. So, there are over a quarter of a million people who will probably never forget the first time Burton hosted the show.
Monday night will be even more unforgettable for those fans if they get their ultimate wish. They want to see LeVar Burton take over as the permanent Jeopardy! host. If that happens, Patrick Pearce’s loss will be forever tied to LeVar’s hosting career.