John Presloid is currently celebrating many things. He’s celebrating winning $92,200 on American game show Jeopardy, the airing of his 5 day streak which allows him to finally talk about it, and the fact that he got to expressively state that he’s gay on national television.
Presloid, who got a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Toledo and a Master of Science degree in biomedicine, is currently being celebrated online.
Presloid says that he’s been a lifelong viewer of the game show, and started auditioning for the show when he was 18. Then in October of last year, he had his fourth in-person audition. Four seems to be his lucky number, as he was then cast.
“Oh, I lost my mind. I was actually at work. I was busy doing an experiment,” he said in an interview with WTOL.
To prepare, Presloid then studied several areas of knowledge that he was less experienced with, including fine art. That preparation turned out to benefit Presloid as he then won four separate games and appeared in five overall.
But possibly one of Presloid’s biggest moments was on his fourth time on the show. On this day, Presloid hit two Daily Doubles, in which players can bet some or all of their earnings to possibly receive double that amount if correct.
With the first Daily Double, Presloid bet his entire earnings. Then with the second, host Alex Trebek encouraged Presloid to bet it all again. Presloid simply responded with, “My husband would kill me.”
Speaking to LGBTQNation, Presloid says he’s proud to have made that statement.
“I’ve noticed that gay people can immediately recognize me as gay, but a lot of time straight people are surprised. So I kind of liked the idea of just dropping it casually, like a straight person would mention his wife,” he said.
“I didn’t want to make it a ‘reveal’ or some shocking secret, but just a matter of fact thing. ‘Oh yeah, by the way, I’m gay too. Let’s keep playing this game’.”
Presloid also noted how he’s received several letters from teens in small towns thanking him for the comment and calling him a role model.
“It was really touching. I didn’t expect to get those kinds of messages, and it really warmed my heart,” he said.
“If I just gave them some relief or some hope, that would be good enough for me. I know it can be hard at that age, especially if you’re in a bad environment. So if they can draw something to help them out of what I said or did, that would make me extremely happy to have been able to help, even if it was small.”