SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the episode of “Jeopardy!” airing Monday, June 3.
James Holzhauer’s 32-game winning streak ended on Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy!” — along with his chance at breaking Ken Jennings’ all-time winnings record of $2,520,700.
The final nail in Holzhauer’s coffin — or rather, two — came well before Final Jeopardy.
It all started when the day’s winner, Emma Boettcher, a librarian from Chicago, got the first Daily Double in the game show’s second round.
“Here’s an opportunity — you have enough money to catch and pass James,” host Alex Trebek told Boettcher before reading the clue. “You know, I think I have to make it a true Daily Double,” she responded, gaining cheers from the audience.
The answer was this: “It’s home to the annual United States sailboat show.”
With her correct answer, “Annapolis,” Boettcher doubled her pot, nudging ahead of Holzhauer with $15,200 versus his $12,600.
Holzhauer briefly caught up with her in the next few questions, but when Boettcher secured the round’s second Daily Double, she gained back her lead over Holzhauer and maintained it for the remainder of the episode.
The second Daily Double question was this: “On book covers from GOP lawmakers Jason Chaffetz and Mike Lee is this phrase for the bureaucracy said to be working against democracy.”
Boettcher’s correct answer, “The deep state,” took her to $23,400, compared to Holzhauer’s $17,800.
In the end, Holzhauer went out in pretty unspectacular fashion, wagering just $1,399 in his final “Final Jeopardy” round while Boettcher wagered a daring $20,201. We explain Holzhauer’s unorthodox Final Jeopardy strategy here.
The night’s final totals came out to $24,799 for Holzhauer, $17,000 for Jay Sexton, and $46,801 for Boettcher. Only Boettcher got to keep her winnings from that day — coming in second place, Holzhauer got a consolation prize of $2,000 (to add to the $2,462,220 he already earned), while Sexton got $1,000 for coming in third place.
Though he didn’t know it at the time, Trebek foreshadowed Holzhauer’s fate at the start of the episode.
After pointing out that Holzhauer was poised to break Jennings’ record that day if he could gain $58,484 that episode, the host quipped of his opponents Boettcher and Sexton: “Jay and Emma maybe don’t feel that way. Perhaps they’re thinking, ‘Enough is enough.'”
Following the show’s airing, Holzhauer said, “I never really believed I could win 75 shows, but I definitely thought I had a great shot at Ken’s cash winnings record.”