The romantic moment aired on Thursday, September 27, as Jeopardy host Alex Trebek conducted his usual meet-and-greet with the latest trio of contestants.
“Now, ladies and gentlemen, normally when I interview the contestants, I base my conversation on little bits of conversation they have supplied us,” the 78-year-old emcee said, gesturing to his cue cards. “But with regard to Michael Pascuzzi from Orlando, Florida, I have absolutely nothing on the card. So what do you want to talk about?”
“I can fill in for you,” Pascuzzi responded before gesturing to his girlfriend in the audience. “I just wanted to say one quick thing and ask Maria Shafer right there … if she would make me a winner today and marry me.”
The cameras cut to Shafer, who was clearly overcome with emotion. “Yes, of course!” she responded.
Quipped Trebek, “Maria, you responded too quickly. I was about to say we’ll have the answer to that question right after this commercial break.”
“That would be, ‘What is … yes?’” Shafer responded, answering in the form of a question, as is customary on Jeopardy.
Pascuzzi, who ended up coming in second place on the show, told the Orlando Sentinel he decided to pop the question on the day of the taping. “I came up with the idea in the green room,” he said. “I had been mulling it. I was going to do it this year.”
The resale store manager then told his plans to the other contestants, to the producers and to the host himself. “He could have shot it down,” Pascuzzi said of Trebek. “He was in on it.”
Now Pascuzzi is wondering if Trebek might officiate his wedding. “It’s a joke I keep putting out there,” he said. “I don’t know if he’d be game.”
Jeopardy, currently in its 35th season, airs every weekday. Check local listings for airtimes.