Ike Barinholtz dishes on being the first Celebrity Jeopardy! contestant to appear in Tournament of Champions

ike barinholtz at The Orpheum Theatre
Ike made Jeopardy! history with his appearance in The Tournament of Champions. Pic credit: © Press Agency

Ike Barinholtz has made Jeopardy! history with his appearance in the Tournament of Champions.

The actor and comedian is the first winner of Celebrity Jeopardy! ever to be invited to participate in the tournament, and his fans are happy to see it.

The 47-year-old father of three qualified for the Tournament of Champions following his Celebrity Jeopardy! win last year, winning $1 million for charity.

Ike was admittedly thrilled about the opportunity and recently told Vulture that he “still can’t believe” it happened.

Ike revealed that growing up, he would watch Jeopardy! with his parents, who were huge fans of the trivia show, and he grew to love the show just as much.

So when Jeopardy!’s executive producer, Michael Davies, asked him to appear in the Tournament of Champions, he responded, “Yes, sir!”

Ike Barinholtz says a Stanley Kubrick film is to thank for his Jeopardy! victory

Ike opened up about his Final Jeopardy! appearance, and he says that a Tom Cruise movie was to be credited for his win.

“Poets of Ancient Rome” was the category, and admittedly, Ike knew “a couple” of Roman poets, but Ovid was the one that “popped into” his head right away.

“Have you ever seen Eyes Wide Shut?” Ike asked Vulture. “There’s a first scene where Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman go to the party. That creepy Hungarian guy starts hitting on Nicole Kidman and is like, ‘Have you ever read Ovid and The Art of Love?'”

“For some reason, in my mind, I was like, ‘Well, Ovid is a poet,’ and I thought of that line. ‘Maybe that could be okay as an answer.’ I was incredibly nervous.”

Unfortunately, Ike’s winning streak ended during the semi-final round when he finished in third place.

Jeopardy! viewers were excited and surprised to see Ike included in the Tournament of Champions

But Ike’s fans were thrilled and pleasantly surprised to see him go head-to-head with some other incredible players and took to X (formerly Twitter) to congratulate him.

One of Ike’s fans included a gif of him during an episode of The Mindy Project and captioned it, “Watching #Jeopardy and surprised to see Ike Barinholtz in the TOC.”

Along with another gif of Ike, @jessiedance3 wrote, “Wait I just realized Ike Barinholtz is on regular jeopardy and not celebrity jeopardy. What is happening #jeopardy.”

“I LIKE IKE! #jeopardy,” wrote another fan of Ike’s and the show.

Last week, Ike expressed his appreciation for being chosen to participate in the Tournament of Champions in an Instagram post in which he was pictured next to the show’s host, Ken Jennings.

Ike calls his Jeopardy! appearance ‘an honor’

“What an absolute honor to be on the @jeopardy Tournament of Champions!” Ike captioned the pic.

“Huge thanks to everyone who watched [sic] and the amazing team at Jeopardy! and of course to the incredible champions Ray Lalonde and Melissa Klapper! On to the Semi finals! 👍”

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