Burt Thakur won $20,400 during his first “Jeopardy!” game. But his victory was about much more than the money.
After “Jeopardy!” declared Thakur the new champion Thursday night, host Alex Trebek asked the contestant if he had any family members cheering him on. Thakur immediately became emotional.
“Here’s a true story, man,” he said at the end of Thursday night’s episode. “I learned English because of you. And so, my grandfather who raised me ― I’m gonna get tears right now ― I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day. So it’s a pretty special moment. Thank you very much.”
“Jeopardy!” tweeted out the special moment Thursday night: “Alex’s impact is immeasurable. Thank you for sharing, Burt!”
Alex's impact is immeasurable. Thank you for sharing, Burt! pic.twitter.com/XgGGwJ8GlH— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 6, 2020
In a post-game “Jeopardy!” interview, Thakur, a project engineer and immigrant who lives in Palm Springs, California, said being on the show is “one of the most fun times you will ever have in your entire life.”
He also said that some of his oldest memories include learning English while watching “Jeopardy!” with his grandfather.
“So to have it come full circle the way it did — especially during this time of pandemic and everything — to have this opportunity and this gift, I mean, it’s so emotional and incredible,” he said.
After his victory, Thakur tweeted that he hopes his joy of being on “Jeopardy!” spreads to others.
To win something money can't buy was an indescribable experience. To be in such a diverse contest makes me proud to be an immigrant and an #American. If you watched me, will you take a bit of my smile and joy & share that with someone? We could all use a @Jeopardy #Jeopardy— Albert Thakur (@albertthakur) November 6, 2020
“To win something money can’t buy was an indescribable experience,” he wrote Thursday night. “To be in such a diverse contest makes me proud to be an immigrant and an #American. If you watched me, will you take a bit of my smile and joy & share that with someone?”