This Tearful Jeopardy! Moment Solidifies Alex Trebek’s Monumental TV Presence

Alex Trebek
This Tearful Jeopardy! Moment Solidifies Alex Trebek’s Monumental TV Presence

Although he was very public about his stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis, news of Alex Trebek’s passing this November still had everyone in shock. His monumental presence on TV for generations of Americans, spanning 37 seasons of Jeopardy!, has left its mark on everyone. On November 5th, three days before Alex passed away, Palm Springs project manager Burt Thakur competed on the show and won the episode. The moment after his win went viral, and for good reason.

A Tearful Moment Between Alex Trebek & a Participant

Burt Thakur, after winning the episode on Nov. 5, 2020
This Tearful Jeopardy! Moment Solidifies Alex Trebek’s Monumental TV Presence

After Thakur competed in the November 5th episode of Jeopardy! and won, host Alex Trebek asked him if there were any family members back home who were cheering him on. The contestant’s answer was emotional, to say the least. “You know, here’s a true story,” Thakur said. He explained it was Alex and his show that helped him learn English as a young boy. He used to sit on his grandfather’s lap to watch Jeopardy! every day while his parents were at work. “It’s a pretty special moment for me,” Thakur said through teary eyes before thanking the host.

Burt Thakur's Twitter post after news of Trebek's passing
This Tearful Jeopardy! Moment Solidifies Alex Trebek’s Monumental TV Presence

Burt Thakur’s Journey to the Show

After the news of Trebek’s passing was announced, Thakur took to Twitter to commemorate the host’s life and to send condolences to his family. When he immigrated to the U.S. from India at the age of eight, Burt spoke very little English. Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy! not only served as his English teacher in his younger years but later when he joined the U.S. Navy, it was also keeping him company during his naval deployments. Competing in the show was the greatest honor of his life, and meeting Trebek was like meeting and extension of his grandfather as he himself described it in an interview.

Alex Trebek will forever remain in our hearts and minds as an incredible host who always put the contestants and the game first.