(Spoiler alert: This post contains information about Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy!”)
James Holzahauer’s “Jeopardy!” reign is over. After 33 consecutive appearances on the show, the professional gambler’s historic run ended Monday.
In the video above, which leaked online Sunday, Holzhauer is seen losing to a contestant named Emma Boettcher, who beats the “Jeopardy!” powerhouse by almost $22,000 in the Final Jeopardy round.
Watch the clip above to see James’ loss, which didn’t happen because he got an answer wrong, but because he oddly wagered an uncharacteristically low $1,399 during Final Jeopardy — a round he had already entered behind Boettcher. Boettcher had secured her lead in Double Jeopardy after correctly answering two Daily Doubles.
“A modest one for the first time,” “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek said, when Holzhauer’s new total for Monday’s game became $24,799.
Holzhauer’s loss is quite shocking, seeing as the contestant was just $58,485 shy of breaking Ken Jennings’ all-time regular season record at the time of his loss, and was set to overtake him on Monday’s episode before making that smaller-than-usual wager. (We explain Holzhauer’s strategy behind the wager here.)
Holzhauer won $2,462,216 over 32 “Jeopardy!” games, whereas Jennings scored $2,520,700 over 74 games back in 2004.
“I never really believed I could win 75 shows, but I definitely thought I had a great shot at Ken’s cash winnings record,” Holzhauer said.
“Emma dominated her warmup games that day, and I knew she would make an extremely tough challenger,” he added. “I was still incredibly impressed by her courage on that ‘True Daily Double.’ I’m proud that it took a top-level player at her absolute best to eliminate me.”