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June 4, 2019

Jeopardy! genius finally loses.

    In Monday's episode of Jeopardy, which has already aired in multiple markets, James Holzhauer lost on his 33rd game. The shocking result was blatantly leaked by numerous outlets such as the Washington Post, CNBC, etc. very early Monday morning.

Holzhauer told The Action Network that the final show was taped on March 12. It ran first on the CBS affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday. That means all Holzhauers' appearances were taped before they started airing on April 4.

The normally deft at finding Daily-Doubles Holzhauer didn't get a sniff of either one in round two. He was defeated by Emma Boettcher, a University of Chicago librarian who may be around for a while.

"Oh, gosh. What a payday," host Alex Trebek exclaimed, as a smiling Holzhauer walked across the stage to give Boettcher an awkward congratulatory hand-shake/high-five.

Boettcher took a slim lead into Final Jeopardy with $26,600. Holzhauer had $23,400, and Jay Sexton, in third place, had $11,000.

The category was "Shakespeare's Time." The clue: "The line 'a great reckonings in a little room' in 'As You Like It' is usually taken to refer to this author's premature death." All three contestants provided the correct response of Christopher Marlowe, an English playwright from the 1500s.

Holzhauer wagered $1,399, enough to win if Boettcher misfired and hold off Sexton if he doubled up. Boettcher wagered $20,000 to win comfortably. Even if Holzhauer had wagered it all, he would have lost by $1.

"I was a little shook during Double Jeopardy," Holzhauer wrote in an email, "because I was playing from behind and constantly getting beaten on the buzzer by Emma. By the time Final Jeopardy rolled around, I knew I could only win if Emma answered incorrectly. It felt like needing a team to miss a last-second field goal. She didn't miss, but I was still proud of my performance the whole way. I gave her a high five and smiled at how far I'd come."

Holzhauer amassed an incredible $2,464,216.00 in winnings in his 32 appearances. 

Here are his winnings-per-day for the past few days:

Monday       6/3    $2,000.00

Friday         5/31   $79,633.00

Thursday    5/30   $58,612.00

Wednesday 5/29    $69,033.00

Tuesday     5/28    $59,381.00

Monday      5/27    $130,022.00

Friday         5/24   $74,400.00

Thursday    5/23   $52,108.00

Wednesday 5/22   $71,885.00

Tuesday      5/21,  $86,905.00

Monday      5/20,  $89,229.00


Top single-game total 4/17 $131,127.00


Response accuracy:   97%

Average $ Bet per daily double:  $9,046.00

Total correct Daily Doubles:  67 / 71

CORRECT FINAL JEOPARDY! RATE: 97%

Runaway games: 28/31


The Action Network's Darren Rovell has a really insightful interview with Holzhauer. Here's the link to the podcast.

Record-Breaker

No other player is even close; 32 games into his streak, Holzhauer was averaging more than $76,000.00 per episode.

He ends up being second on the all-time winnings list behind the legendary Ken Jennings. The 34-year-old Holzhauer (a sports gambler) reached that mark in just 15 games; It took Ken Jennings 74 games to reach $2.5 million.

The all-time-winningest contestant on Jeopardy! is Brad Rutter, who has won a staggering $4,688,436.00 including tournaments.


Buzzer-Beater

One thing I noticed about Holzhauer is his reaction style. Host Alex Tribeck asks a question and contestants can answer only after he finishes speaking. If you buzz in too early, you're penalized .5 seconds. 

While other players will be animated in their reaction, letting the world know they know the answer - Holzhauer is stoic. Holzhauer has the timing down. Holzhauer practiced eliminating his emotion from his buzzer reaction time. He's almost always first.Answer: Daily Double

He’s doing this primarily by making huge bets on Daily Doubles, which are questions that allow players to bet as much or as little of their money as they’d like.  

As a professional gambler, Holzhauer is aware that there’s an element of luck involved in all of this, and that his luck could run out at any moment. “A particular vulnerability is that I can wipe out my entire score with one missed Daily Double, but I could also lose by failing to uncover any of the Daily Doubles at all, or just running into the wrong opponent at the wrong time,” he recently told the Atlantic.

No contestant had ever won more than $100,000 in a single game before Holzhauer, who now holds the top ten spots on the show's list of biggest single-game winners. Jennings highest one-day win during his 74-game run was $75,000.

Holzhauer, who has not been paid, will receive a check from Jeopardy! 120 days after the airing of his last show.


Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

Source: AASNNews; CBS; Jeopardy.com; AASNSports


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