'What is yes?' 'Jeopardy!' contestant proposes to girlfriend during show

A 'Jeopardy!' contestant proposed to his girlfriend at the start of the show, and got his answer in the form of a question.
/ Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

A "Jeopardy!" contestant took home the grand prize on Thursday's episode before the game even started.

Michael Pascuzzi, a resale store manager from Orlando, Florida, asked the most important question of the night at the start of the show when he proposed to girlfriend Maria Shafer as she sat in the audience.

"Yes, of course!" Shafer said before remembering the famous format of the trivia show. "That would be, 'What is yes?!'''

After Pascuzzi took a page from last week's Primetime Emmy Awards with his public proposal, an ecstatic Shafer made sure there was no need for the iconic waiting music played during "Final Jeopardy!" in every episode.

"I was about to say we’ll have the answer to that question right after this commercial break,'' host Alex Trebek joked.

Pascuzzi arranged the special moment through contestant coordinator Corina Nusu, who jokingly asked Pascuzzi before the show when he was going to "put a ring on it" after hearing that he and Shafer were in a long-term relationship, according to the Jeopardy! website.

"But Michael responded, 'Should I do it now?''' Nusu wrote. "I was shocked and made it clear that I was just teasing him. But he said, 'When else would I have the opportunity to propose on 'Jeopardy!'?"

"And just like that, in a matter of minutes, a proposal was put together."

Pascuzzi finished second on the episode behind returning champion Evelyn Rubin, but still went home a winner.

"Great day for us and a great day for Michael,'' Trebek said at the end of the episode.

Pascuzzi and Shafer wondered afterward if their favorite host — who recently shaved off his famous mustache for the 35th season of "Jeopardy!" — might want to be part of their wedding.

"See if Alex wants to marry us,'' they told the show's site. "We'll come out here!"

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
MORE FROM today