Jeopardy! Host LeVar Burton Part of Not-So-Great Game Show First

The anticipation is a long time coming for Jeopardy! guest host LeVar Burton and he's already bored witness to a milestone. For the first time in the game show's near 60-year history, a contestant had the lowest score dropping below – $7000. The Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and Reading Rainbow host made his debut on the July 26 episode. Patrick Pearce, a product specialist from Fountain Valley, California, ended his night with -$7,400 breaking the previous record by another contestant Stephanie Hull in March 2015 with a score of -$6,800.

Jeopardy! Host LeVar Burton Part of History in Contestant Futility
Image courtesy of Sony Television

Pearce's night didn't begin horribly finishing the initial Jeopardy round with $200, but his luck took a nose dive in the Double Jeopardy round tanking to the -$7,400 amount ending his night since he would be ineligible for Final Jeopardy. Personally, I would use the excuse of being starstruck for Burton. Competing against Pearce was Kathleen McHugh of Detroit and defending champion Matt Amodio of New Haven, Conn with both entering the final round. Amodio won expanding his four-day winnings to $122,400.

Burton's kept busy including teaching a MasterClass in storytelling, hosting his own podcast called LeVar Burton Reads, plugging his friend Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin, and teasing potential involvement in the new Star Trek canon. He remains optimistic hoping his guest-hosting gig on Jeopardy! becomes permanent. "There's something inside me that says this makes sense," he told the New York Times. "I feel like this is what I'm supposed to do. Jeopardy! is a cultural touchstone and for a Black man to occupy that podium is significant." Burton joins the likes of other celebrity hosts like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actress Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory, Call Me Kat), ABC hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts who had stints on Jeopardy!.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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