Last night, beloved actor and director LeVar Burton made his debut as a guest host on ABC’s fan favorite daytime game show, Jeopardy! Fans have been clamoring for Burton to not only come on the show, but take over as its permanent host after the passing of Alex Trebek last year, and now that he’s finally gotten his shot, all eyes are on him. Or at least, all eyes were supposed to be on him, but something even more miraculous overshadowed his debut: one contestant’s tragic lack of trivia knowledge.
One of the episode’s contestants, Patrick Pearce, a product specialist from Fountain View, California, set a Jeopardy! record for the lowest score in the show’s entire history. With wrong answers climbing into the double digits, his score at the end of the show was an unprecedented negative $7,400, beating out the former lowest score record of negative $6,800 set back in 2015. That’s the kind of score you’d expect to see on one of Saturday Night Live‘s old “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketches. For the duration of the show, it seemed like Pearce was just one right answer from bouncing back out of the hole, but it was a Daily Double question about US government buildings that finally sealed his fate.
Lowest Jeopardy score ever should be his new Bumble bio.
— Michael Sheehan (@BiggusDingus) July 27, 2021
Wait, hold up. Did I (and probably a whole lotta other folks) just tune in for the first time in a LONG time to watch the lowest recorded score in #Jeopardy history? If so, now I feel even worse for him?
— DOUG (@ickybooley) July 26, 2021
According to my Jeopardy-obsessed son, the dude who finished in the negative set a record for the lowest score in the modern era.
— Noel Murray (@NoelMu) July 27, 2021
There’s been an overwhelming show of sympathy and support for Pearce on Twitter, especially since, with Burton’s debut as guest host, many people were tuning in for the first time in a long time just to see him set a rather embarrassing record. The precise ratings for the episode haven’t been publicly released yet, but with the combination of Burton’s debut and Pearce’s record, it’s probably a safe assumption that it’ll be a ratings bonanza.