There was more than one viral moment from Thursday's episode of Jeopardy!. Burt Thakur, who broke down in tears while telling host Alex Trebek how he learned English by watching the show, also missed a question about Philadelphia cheesesteaks. Thakur still won the episode though, and he later shared a touching tribute to Trebek after he heard the news of the host's passing.
At one point of the Nov. 5 episode, Trebek read the clue, "Hey youse guys! U.S. News raved about this sandwich from John’s Roast Pork in Philadelphia." Thakur rang in, but he quickly realized he didn't have the answer. "What is the chipped pork sandwich? The pork, pork sandwich pork roll? What is pork sandwich?" he replied. None of his answers were correct though. Devin Rossiter rang in the correct response, "What is cheesesteak?"
Behold, the greatest Jeopardy answer of all time: pic.twitter.com/wbstlY5Www— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) November 6, 2020
Thakur, who lives in Palm Springs, California, still won the episode with $20,400. Although he would later lose in the Friday, Nov. 6 episode, he still left a mark on Jeopardy! fans. At the end of the episode, Thakur told Trebek he watched Jeopardy! with his grandfather, which is how he learned English. Thakur began tearing up, as did Trebek.
"I learned English because of you. And so my grandfather, who raised me, I'm gonna get tears right now… I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day," Thakur told Trebek. "So, it’s a pretty special moment for me, man." Thakur said some of his "oldest memories" are of watching the show with his grandfather. "So, to have it come full circle the way it did, especially during this time of pandemic and everything, to have this opportunity and this gift is, I mean, it’s so emotional and incredible," he said.
When with proud joy we lift Life's red wine upNovember 8, 2020
To drink deep of the mystic shining cup
And ecstasy through all our being leaps—
Death bows his head and weeps.
Thakur's moment went viral again on Sunday after news broke that Trebek died Sunday morning at age 80, after a battle with prostate cancer. Thakur sent his condolences to the Trebek family by sharing a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke called "Death." He later added, "I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and my heart goes out to the Trebek family."
Trebek is survived by his wife Jean and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. They have not announced plans for a memorial service yet. He filmed episodes through the end of October and his last new episode will air on Christmas Day.