Jeopardy! Champion Loses, Doesn't Break Ken Jennings' Record

By Bill Galluccio

June 4, 2019

Ken Jennings' Jeopardy! records will remain intact after James Holzhauer's 32-episode winning streak came to an end on Monday (June 3) night. Holzhauer entered Final Jeopardy! in second-place behind Emma Boettcher and knew that his streak was likely over.

Trailing by $3,200, he knew his only chance to win was if Boettcher got the question wrong, so he decided to make a small bet of $1,399 and ensure he would not fall to third place.

"By the time Final Jeopardy rolled around, I knew my goose was cooked if Emma answered correctly. It's a little like needing a team to miss a last-second field goal — nothing you can really do but watch," he told the Atlantic. "I made peace with my fate before the clue for Final was even revealed."

The loss left Holzhauer just $58,000 short of Jennings' record of $2,520,700 in non-tournament winnings. He never came close to breaking Jennings 74-game winning streak.

Boettcher will now try her luck on Tuesday night as she gets a chance to start a winning streak of her own. Boettcher is a librarian and no stranger to Jeopardy!. In 2016, she earned her master's degree from the University of North Carolina's School of Information and Library Science by writing a 70-page thesis paper that analyzed Jeopardy! clues to determine if a computer could predict their difficulty based on question length and word choice.

Holzhauer will return to Jeopardy! in the future to participate in the Tournament of Champions.

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