Last year for Valentine’s Day, we brought you stories of love discovered on the Jeopardy! set from contestant Couples Who J! Since then, we realized that the J!Effect is also bringing people together on the other side of the camera, so we invited fans to post some of their own Jeopardy! love stories. Here are a few of our favorite stories from fan couples who J!
Conor Murphy’s story: “I auditioned (to be a contestant on Jeopardy!) in San Francisco in March (2016). In the months leading up to my audition, I had reconnected with an old crush from high school. I was living in Salt Lake at the time and she was living in Boise. I convinced her to fly down to San Francisco and spend the week of my audition reconnecting. After the audition, we walked the few blocks to the Embarcadero, where I had all the oysters possible. Best first date ever. She is a Jeopardy! fan, and is even more so since our San Francisco trip. I have since moved to Boise, and we bought a house. We are betrothed and even have a little puppy named Bowie Trebek.”
BEST GIFT EVER
Kathy Steinberg’s story: “This is the story of how I learned that my boyfriend is an attentive, thoughtful person. On our first date, I divulged my obsessive love of Jeopardy! and life goal to be a contestant someday – I record/watch every episode I can and have taken the online test almost every year since graduating from college. On our second date, we had a nightcap at my apartment and watched a couple of episodes recorded earlier in the week. That night, he saw how competitive I can be (I kicked his butt!) and I saw that he wasn’t intimidated by it. After that second date, while he was out of town visiting family, he sent me a link to an interview with Arthur Chu, in which Chu advised hopeful contestants to practice buzzing in at home with a pen. On our third date, he gave me a handmade box (in Jeopardy! blue with yellow tissue paper!) with two plain black pens for us to use as buzzers when we watch Jeopardy! together. It was and still is the single most thoughtful gift I've ever received.”
THAT CLUE CHEMISTRY
Nakia Welch’s story: “When I was a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin State University, our department had a TV in the lobby. Jeopardy! aired each day at 3 p.m. I watched each day and noticed our office student worker, a senior named Patricia, sitting at the other side of the lobby (also) watching. To impress her, I blurted out answers to clues I knew – usually only about 10 to 15; she never answered clues aloud, so I thought I was impressing her with my intellect. After about a week, she began responding to clues, always faster than me, usually answering 35 to 45 correctly (per) episode. Yes, it put me in my place and silenced my ego. However, impressed by HER intellect, I mustered the courage to ask her out. We've been married for over 10 years now – Jeopardy! deserves the credit for initiating our relationship!”
THE FINAL J! CONNECTION
Brett McCloskey’s story: “For over 25 years, Anne Marie and I have had a split living and Jeopardy! viewing relationship. I spend a lot of time out of town for work, and our daily Final Jeopardy! call has become like a family dinnertime conversation no matter where I am. When we're apart, the show always plays a role in our daily personal communication ... we have a standard time to call each other. When Alex comes back [for Final Jeopardy!] after the commercial break, I have the phone in my hand and start dialing as soon as the clue is revealed. Often, I have the answer ready when she answers; sometimes she gives the answer as a greeting when she picks up her phone. Often, depending on our individual work schedules, this is the only time we actually get to talk during the day.”
LOVE THAT KEEPS SCORE
Harmony Holmgren’s story: “When I married Brad three years ago, he was fully aware of my Jeopardy! obsession. He used to be very impressed by my skills, but over the past few years I have created a monster. After we get all the kids to bed, we meet downstairs in the living room and go head-to-head. We are so competitive now, that we have to pause to debate our ties. We are not always humble winners or fair losers, but we sure have fun. We've come to notice that our marriage is at its best when we are regularly playing.”
WHAT IS...THE COMPATIBILITY TEST?
Carmen Collins’ story: “My now-husband Bryant and I met in 1999. One of the first topics of conversation was our mutual love for watching Jeopardy! and playing along at home. I thought in my head, I would like to play with him and make sure he's as smart as he seems and (that) we are intellectually compatible. Sure enough, we started watching and playing against each other most nights, and I found him to be very knowledgeable and clever, which brought out the competitiveness in me. Seventeen years have passed, and we are married with two girls. We have found that watching Jeopardy! together brings us closer. Even when we are upset with each other, we still make it a point to watch the show together. We've had romantic dinners while watching Jeopardy!, and now even our 6-year-old watches the show with us and tries to answer. She knows the tune by heart and sings it when she's thinking or when she's waiting for me to give her an answer. The J!Effect is real and has had a true impact in our lives, and I'm certainly passing it (on).”
We’re happy to announce that one of our Couples Who J! from last year is tying the knot this year! Mike and Maryanne have not let time or distance weather their relationship. From the couple: “After a long engagement, we have our wedding coming up this July in Canada. Our wedding hashtag reflects how we met: #whatismikeandmare (it was Michael's sister's idea). The fact is, there would be no wedding without you all having cast us for the Teachers Tournament of 2013. We are so grateful. You changed our lives.” They are also making their wedding into a 2013 Teachers Tournament reunion.
To all you fans and couples who J!, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Has Jeopardy! made a difference in your life? Tell us your J!Effect story.