Seemingly invincible “Jeopardy!” champion James Holzhauer lost after a 32-game win streak that saw him amass $2,462,216 and break the game show’s records.
That total left him $58,484 shy of the earnings record held by Ken Jennings’s.Rumors of his loss circulated yesterday, and Monday evening’s show confirmed that Holzhauer was beaten out by a librarian from Chicago named Emma Boettcher.
“Nobody likes to lose,” Holzhauer said. “But I’m very proud of how I did, and I really exceeded my own expectations for the show. So I don’t feel bad about it.”
Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional gambler from Las Vegas, became a celebrity thanks to his near-unprecedented run on “Jeopardy!,” rivaling only Jennings. During his streak, he averaged $77,000 per game, doubling Jennings’ daily total.
He usually entered Final Jeopardy so far ahead that no one could catch him, but Monday night, Boettcher was in the lead.
The Final Jeopardy clue was “A great reckoning in a little room” in “As You Like It,” which usually refers to a certain author’s premature death. Both Holzhauer and Boettcher, as well as the third contestant, answered correctly: “Who is Marlowe?”
Holzhauer had made an uncharacteristically low wager, but couldn’t have caught up to Boettcher’s lead anyway. After host Alex Trebek confirmed her win, Holzhauer gave her a high five.
“I lost to a really top-level competitor,” Holzhauer said. “She played a perfect game. And that was what it took to beat me.”
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