What is … goodbye? Jeopardy fans never thought the day would come that James Holzhauer would lose. Many expected he would beat the record that Ken Jennings set in 2004 during his 74-day streak.
However, on Monday, June 3, Holzhauer’s run came to an end, The New York Times reported on Monday. Additionally, a leaked video began circulating on Twitter, revealing that he had lost.
His 33rd game would be his last, as he came in second place to Emma Boettcher and missed Jennings’ $2.5 million total by only $58,484. Granted, the Las Vegas gambler holds impressive stats: He won an average of $77,000 per game and when he buzzed in, he got the question right 97 percent of the time; he played 11 games in which he did not buzz in with one incorrect answer; and he’s won the most money in one game.
“Nobody likes to lose,” Holzhauer, 34, told The New York Times. “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.”
Holzhauer had a very specific strategy during his time on the show: Go for all the high-value questions before the lower-valued ones and find every Daily Double. When he did find a Daily Double – something that happened nightly – he’d usually bet it all.
“A lot of the opponents have adjusted to the strategy, but not all of them have had the guts to actually back it up with a big bet,” he said.
As for when Monday night’s game changed, he can pinpoint the moment: choosing a clue worth $1,200 from the Capitals That Begin With “A” category. “The answer to this question occurred to me a second too late, so she was able to out-buzz me,” he revealed; his opponent chose a Daily Double next, the box he said he would have chosen. She wagered it all and came up with the correct answer.
“I knew going in that Daily Double hunting was something that I could do and feel confident doing. I don’t need to be cautious around that,” the University of Chicago librarian, 27, said.
Boettcher was leading heading into Final Jeopardy – and all three of the opponents chose the right answer. Holzhauer came up $22,002 short and Boettcher won with $46,801. “I lost to a really top-level competitor. She played a perfect game. And that was what it took to beat me,” he said of his loss.
After her win, Holzhauer gave the Chicago native a high-five and he joked about his loss on Twitter. “Knew I shouldn’t have invited @Drake to the @Jeopardy taping,” he wrote on Monday.
The bright side? He promised his daughter they could have a party when he lost. “My kid cried about the possibility of her dad losing, so I told her we could have a party the day after it inevitably happens. Now she cries when I win,” he wrote on Sunday.