It’s been a crazy stretch over the past month watching James Holzhauer completely dominate Jeopardy!, but all crazy runs have come to an end … and such it has today.
Throughout today’s syndicated episode, viewers all over the country have seen James, whose hard-gambling style on Daily Doubles caused him to revolutionize the game show, end up losing to Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher — the Final Jeopardy question wasn’t so much his undoing. Instead, it was ironically his wager. He didn’t bet as big of an amount as he possibly could have, which in theory lowered the possibility of him moving forward in the event that Emma ended up writing down the wrong “question.” Yet, ultimately this was him probably realizing that his bet didn’t matter all that much — he recognized that if Emma got Final Jeopardy right and bet big (which she did, knowing the beast she was up against), she would win no matter what.
In a lot of ways, James’ exit was putting his fate in the hands of the game, and the game on this occasion just so happened to beat him.
Do we think that James will be back to play this game in future tournaments? Absolutely, given that he is, next to Ken Jennings, perhaps the most-famous contestant in the history of the show. He almost was able to even top out Jennings’ earnings and did it in a significantly smaller period of time. He does own several records in terms of the biggest earnings ever on a single show, as he effectively bet big on every opportunity that he could, realizing that the majority of Jeopardy! contestants do get their Daily Doubles correct.
This concludes a fascinating run of the game, and it has provided another source of headlines this year. Host Alex Trebek has been battling cancer since an announcement earlier this season, but knowing Alex and his desire to keep the attention off of him, we feel like he probably appreciated having the subject somewhere else. (We’re still sending Alex the best as he continues his recovery.)
Will Emma hold the title for a long time? We’d love to see it, but the hardest part of a show like this is the grind. We’re very interested in learning a little bit more all about how James does eventually influence future players, but it may take some time for some of that to be clear. After all, Jeopardy! filmed James’ entire run of shows before they were even put on the air, so nobody really had a chance to know about how they played. Instead, all they most likely knew was that he was a champion for a long time and with that, a dragon that needed to be slayed.
If you missed James’ losing moment (and Emma’s winning moment) on Jeopardy! today, check out the video at the bottom of this article.
What do you think about the end of James’ run on Jeopardy!, and the impact that he had on the game overall? Be sure to share below. (Photo: Jeopardy!)