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Did James Holzhauer finally lose on Jeopardy!?

Jame Holzhauer
Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer. Pic credit: Jeopardy.com

Love him or hate him, longtime Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer’s long run has come to an end, according to the New York Times.

After winning 32 games in a row, Holzhauer finally lost his crown to librarian Emma Boettcher and depending on whether you see James as a hero or a villain will determine how you take this news.

Displaying more of a smirk than a smile in each episode of the show, the professional gambler isn’t a loser by any stretch of the imagination. The 34-year-old left Jeopardy! with $2,462,216 more in his pocket (an averaging $76,944 per episode).

He routinely broke records for the most money won per episode and he is the fourth highest-earning American game show contestant of all time (behind Andrew Kravis (The Million Second Quiz) as well as former Jeopardy champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter).

However, despite his achievements, Holzhauer was unable to outdo Ken Jennings’ $2.52 million, which was won through a 74-game streak.

“Nobody likes to lose,” Holzhauer said in an interview. “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.”

Like Jennings, Holzhauer became a polarizing figure on the show. While some people couldn’t stop singing his praises (Clark County declared a “James Holzhauer Day”) others thought he was ruining the show, often comparing him to a cyborg.

Some wondered if the show would have to declare bankruptcy due to his winnings. On the contrary, the 35-year-old show couldn’t be happier with its ratings’ spike over the last month.

But all good things must come to an end.

On today’s Final Jeopardy, Boettcher was ahead and answered the final question correctly. The question was: “The line ‘A great reckoning in a little room’ in ‘As You Like It’ is usually taken to refer this author’s premature death.”

The question was answered correctly by all three contestants — but Boettcher won the game.

“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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