Published: Wed, June 05, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Jeopardy!: James Holzhauer's winning streak ends short of money record

Jeopardy!: James Holzhauer's winning streak ends short of money record

The King James of Jeopardy has been dethroned.

Separately, the New York Times revealed in previously conducted interview today what Holzhauer had to say after he lost - and also talked with the player who beat him.

Contestant James Holzhauer has broken his silence on his recent Jeopardy loss to librarian Emma Boettcher.

"I never really believed I could win 75 shows, but I definitely thought I had a great shot at Ken's cash winnings record", said Holzhauer in a press statement released by the show after his final episode aired. This was short of Boettcher, who bet $20,201 to win with a total of $46,801.

"Jeopardy!" executive producer Harry Friedman said Tuesday that he thinks he knows who's responsible for leaking the ending of James Holzhauer's final episode, and that "very, very, very appropriate" action will be taken.

James Holzhauer was just $50,000 shy of making Jeopardy history when he lost it all. The pro gambler from Las Vegas needed only $58,000 and change to topple Ken Jennings from the top of the all-time leaderboard.

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Titled "What is Difficulty?: Estimating the Difficulty of Fact-Finding Questions Using the "Jeopardy" Archive", Boettcher looked at clue length, syntax and other factors in order to examine the difficulty of answers and questions, according to NBC. On Monday night's episode, Boettcher landed both Daily Doubles, giving her a leg up heading into Final Jeopardy.

"We are just so proud and excited for her", Elisabeth Long, a supervising librarian at the University of Chicago, told NBC News moments after learning of her colleague's big win. So after that highest-in-the-U.S. tax rate of 13.3% is applied, Holzhauer will likely walk away with around $1.29 million, just over half of what he won. A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Boettcher got hooked on "Jeopardy!" and competitive trivia as a teenager.

Holzhauer was quick and smart, but also bet big - very big - on his ability to offer the correct answer when he landed on a special Daily Double question, which was often.

"I think the most impressive to me is that of the 33 Final Jeopardy clues that he played, he only got one of them wrong so that's absolutely unheard of", Saunders said.

It was an incredible first game for Boettcher, who auditioned for the show four times before she made it on.

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