Here’s What Happened in James Holzhauer’s 33rd ‘Jeopardy!’ Game
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Monday’s episode of Jeopardy! Season 35, James Holzhauer’s 33rd consecutive appearance.]
Going into Monday’s game, the 34-year-old professional sports gambler had won 32 straight games, with only 36 incorrect answers. Four came during Daily Doubles, and only one came in Final Jeopardy. He had earned $2,462,216 and was nearing Ken Jennings’ record of $2,520,700 in 74 games in 2004. Could he beat that record in half the games?
Unfortunately, the answer is no, as Holzhauer lost in Monday’s game, and Jeopardy! now has a new champion in Emma Boettcher. Host Alex Trebek said maybe the other contestants thought “enough was enough” with Holzhauer, and it seems he was right.
Same name, different James. Congratulations on 30 wins! pic.twitter.com/5h33A8datj
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) May 30, 2019
Read on to find out how it happened.
Holzhauer got off to a good start, finding the Daily Double on the first board with his first pick, Literature for $1000. He bet $1000 and gave the correct answer to “The title peak of this Thomas Mann novel is home to a Swiss sanatorium” with “Magic Mountain.” However, Boettcher quickly tied him, answering the next question, the $1000 clue for the category Nests, correctly.
In the first round, Boettcher matched Holzhauer almost clue for clue, with the latter only going on one three-answer streak and the third contestant, Jay Sexton, occasionally chiming in.
At the end of the round, Holzhauer was ahead, with $9000 to Boettcher’s $6400. He answered 13 of the 30 questions to Boettcher’s 11. No one gave a wrong answer.
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) June 3, 2019
Double Jeopardy! Round
Holzhauer also started off the second round well, answering the first two questions correctly (the $2000 and $1600 clues for Capital “A”). However, Boettcher buzzed in ahead of him for the $1200 clue in the same category — “In 1662, the English changed its name from Beverwyck to this to honor James, Duke of it,” and correctly said, “Albany.”
She then chose the $800 clue in that category, and that was the Daily Double. Her bet of a true Daily Double, $7600, and correct answer gave her $15,200, an edge of $2600 over Holzhauer’s $12,600.
Boettcher also found the second Daily Double on the board, under the $2000 clue for Political Philosophy. She bet $3,000 and correctly answered the question, giving her $23,400 to Holzhauer’s $17,800 at that point. She had one three-answer streak, while Holzhauer did not answer more than two in a row in tat round.
Holzhauer answered the final two clues correctly, but his $23,400 put him in second place to Boettcher’s $26,600. “We have quite a game,” Trebek said. “Closest it’s been in a while.”
Final Jeopardy! Round
Prior to giving the clue, Trebek remarked on how impressive the contestants had been, with only one missed answer all game. (Sexton incorrectly answered the $400 clue in the category, Political Philosophy, and the other two didn’t guess.)
The category was Shakespeare’s Time, and the clue was: “The line ‘a great reckoning in a little room’ in As You Like It is usually taken to refer to this author’s premature death.” Holzhauer correctly answered Marlowe, but his bet was a “modest” $1399, giving him $24,799. He could only win if Boettcher wrote down an incorrect response, but she too had the right answer and bet $20,201, giving her a one-day winnings total of $46,801. Holzhauer high-fived her in congratulations.
“What a game!” Trebek said after the reveal. “Oh my gosh. What a way to start the week. Congratulations. We’re going to say goodbye to James, too. We’ll be seeing him again, folks.”
Holzhauer ended his run with a total of $2,464,216 in 33 games. He was $56,484 short of Jennings’ record for winnings in regular-season play.
Following the loss, Holzhauer told The New York Times, “Nobody likes to lose. But I’m very proud of how I did, and I really exceeded my own expectations for the show.” He added that Boettcher is “a really top-level competitor” who “played a perfect game” and “that was what it took to beat” him.
While Holzhauer’s winning streak may be over on Jeopardy!, that’s not going to be the last time he plays the game. Stay tuned to find out when he’ll be back.
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