One Jeopardy! guest hit the jackpot before he even answered a question on Thursday’s episode of the trivia show. Michael Pascuzzi used the guest introduction portion of the show to ask his partner, Maria Shafer, if she would marry him — and from where she was sitting in the audience, she said yes. The internet has had mixed reactions to the proposal, which went viral when Jeopardy! shared the clip on Twitter Thursday night.
She even responded in the form of a question. They truly are a match made in heaven! 💍💕 pic.twitter.com/se12NVG4m8
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) September 27, 2018
In the clip, Trebek reveals that his contestant information card on Pascuzzi is blank, so he asks Pascuzzi what he wants to talk about. Pascuzzi replies, “I just wanted to say one quick thing, and ask Maria Shafer right there” — here, he points to his partner, who already looks like she is about to cry and has a microphone and camera aimed her way — “if she would make me a winner today and marry me. Will you marry me?”
Shafer said yes, even throwing in a “What is yes?” joke when Trebek teased a commercial break before her answer.
After the show tweeted the clip, Pascuzzi replied from his personal account, writing, “Thank you so much @Jeopardy Alex and crew! I’m the happiest guy tonight and it will be a great memory Maria and I will share forever! Also… Alex…are you available to officiate?
— Michael Pascuzzi (@PascuzziMichael) September 28, 2018
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Pascuzzi arranged the proposal with the help of Jeopardy‘s crew. He said he came up with the idea in the green room before filming, and the other two contestants — and host Alex Trebek — encouraged him to go for it.
“[Trebek] could have shot it down. He was in on it,” Pascuzzi said, adding that he’d love for the longtime Jeopardy! host to marry him and Shafer. “It’s a joke I keep putting out there. I don’t know if he’d be game,” he said.
Reactions to Pascuzzi’s proposal have been mixed. Some replied to the clip on Twitter to encourage the couple, saying, “That was cute” or simply “Congratulations.” Another viewer wrote, “Awwww…goosebumps!” with two heart-eye emojis.
— rita marie moore (@RitaRitamoore84) September 28, 2018
— rbnrcks6 (@rbnrcks6) September 28, 2018
That was cute ❤️
— Karen Segboer (@Petitgateaud) September 28, 2018
However, others pointed out that public proposals of this nature can put unnecessary pressure on the receiving party to say yes or face horrible harassment on social media. One commenter replied to the Jeopardy! clip, “I think this is so sexist and am so sick of this. Why pressure a woman like this? What if she wants to say no? @Jeopardy is continuing a centuries long sexist trend.” Another said, “I hate proposals like that. He would have looked so stupid if she said no.”
I think this is so sexist and am so sick of this. Why pressure a woman like this? What if she wants to say no? @Jeopardy is continuing a centuries long sexist trend.
— David Maxwell (@davidlmax) September 28, 2018
I hate proposals like that. He would have looked so stupid if she said no. I don't understand why some have to make such a big production out of a proposal.
— Karen Millett (@cathousekeeper1) September 28, 2018
Although we don’t know how Shafer felt about this proposal, she and Pascuzzi seemed happy when they shared a hug and kiss to celebrate their new relationship status on the Jeopardy! stage. We wish them the best.