What is hap­pily ever af­ter?

New Bruns­wick teacher mar­ries fel­low ‘Jeop­ardy!’ con­tes­tant

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

A New Bruns­wick teacher who mar­ried a fel­low “Jeop­ardy!” con­tes­tant this month says she’s sur­prised by all the at­ten­tion they’ve re­ceived — they’re just two nerds in love.

Maryanne Lewell of Saint John said she met South Carolinian Michael Townes four years ago dur­ing the quiz show’s an­nual teach­ers tour­na­ment and even­tu­ally fell for his charms.

Their July 7 wed­ding in St. An­drews By-The-Sea, N.B., was fea­tured in the cov­eted “Vows’’ sec­tion of The New York Times. It was picked up by other me­dia out­lets from Peo­ple to Martha Ste­wart Wed­dings.

“We are just a cou­ple of bor­ing nerds, who met do­ing some­thing we love,’’ Lewell told The Cana­dian Press in an email this week from Texas, where the new cou­ple is vis­it­ing fam­ily.

“And while the at­ten­tion and sup­port has been won­der­ful and af­firm­ing, it’s also over­whelm­ing. But it’s cool that peo­ple love our story: we love it too.’’

“Jeop­ardy!” host Alex Tre­bek sent them his con­grat­u­la­tions, call­ing them ‘’win­ners in love.”

Lewell, who teaches his­tory and so­cial stud­ies at Saint John High School, said she took the on­line test, and then au­di­tioned and was cast in the 2013 tour­na­ment. She said the con­tes­tants all bonded off cam­era; she never com­peted against Townes and de­vel­oped a rap­port with him.

“Ob­vi­ously when we were all in Los An­ge­les we were fo­cused on the game. Be­ing on ‘Jeop­ardy!’ was a bucket list item for many of us, and we were all ex­cited to share that nerdy dream with oth­ers who un­der­stood. Many of us kept in touch af­ter,’’ she said.

“It be­came ob­vi­ous to Mike

and my­self that we had a lot in com­mon; and per­haps if we were in the same city we would al­ready have been on a date. So we de­cided to try the long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship.’’

She said Townes won her over by be­ing a friend and “a good guy’’ dur­ing reg­u­lar vis­its over a cou­ple years. It may also have helped that they both

have three de­grees.

When he pro­posed on Canada Day 2015, she said yes.

She said The New York Times had never be­fore pro­filed a cou­ple who met on “Jeop­ardy!” — such hookups have hap­pened be­fore — and asked to cover their wed­ding.

Lewell has also been a con­tes­tant on the CBC Tele­vi­sion

show “Canada’s Smartest Per­son,” in 2015.

Townes has two chil­dren, so Lewell said she plans to move south to be with her new hus­band. “They are still in school. That dic­tates liv­ing ar­range­ments, though we have yet to run the im­mi­gra­tion gaunt­let. We are con­sult­ing now to be­gin that process,’’ she said.

CP PHOTO/SHAN­NON-MAY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

A New Bruns­wick teacher who mar­ried a fel­low “Jeop­ardy!” con­tes­tant this month says she’s sur­prised by all the at­ten­tion they’ve re­ceived — she says they’re just “a cou­ple of bor­ing nerds” in love. Maryanne Lewell of Saint John met South Carolinian Michael Townes four years ago dur­ing the quiz show’s an­nual teach­ers tour­na­ment, and kept in touch af­ter­wards. Lewell and Townes are seen walk­ing on Wa­ter St. in St. An­drews, N.B., on their wed­ding day.

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