This week on Jeopardy!, fans are tuning in for the annual ‘Tournament of Champions’ and unlike years past that were sometimes forgettable, this year there are all sorts of reasons to tune in and watch.
For starters, there was that emotional moment on Monday’s show where the contestant wrote in ‘We love you, Alex‘ and Trebek got all choked up. Keep in mind that episode was filmed a month or two ago, just before Alex Trebek announced he’d be undergoing another round of chemo treatment for his Stage-4 Pancreatic Cancer. There’s also the return of ‘Jeopardy James‘.
James Holzhauer, the professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, absolutely destroyed the single-game records during his historic run on Jeopardy!. James won 32 games in a row, and along the way he set racked up the 16 highest single-game earnings/scores in Jeopardy! history.
Despite only making it less than halfway to Ken Jennings’ 74-game streak back in 2004 he just missed out breaking Ken’s all-time earnings record of $2.54 million when he was knocked out by Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher. Jeopardy James earned a cool $2.46 million throughout his 32-game streak.
Now, James and Emma will face each other once again on Thursday and Friday in the 2-day ‘Tournament of Champions’ finals on Jeopardy!. James won his semifinal last night (Tuesday) by destroying his competition.
As was often the case, he was mathematically unable to lose in Final Jeopardy! because he’d more than doubled his opponent’s scores. He had $30,466 going into Final Jeopardy! but failed to come up with the correct response.
In Emma’s semifinal on Monday, she earned $29,601 which is just a hair shy of what James took home. I didn’t see her episode so I don’t know how Finals Jeopardy! played out so I can’t speak to how much she wagered down the stretch and how much she earned on her ‘Daily Doubles’. This excerpt from ESPN’s Chalk shows how close their breakdown was in answering:
Holzhauer, known for being quick on the buzzer, admitted that Boettcher rattled him in their first meeting.
“I was a little shook during Double Jeopardy,” Holzhauer told ESPN after his streak-ending defeat, “because I was playing from behind and constantly getting beaten on the buzzer by Emma.”
Holzhauer correctly answered 27 of his 28 responses and buzzed in first 42.1% of the time. Boettcher was correct on 21 of her 23 responses and was first on the buzzer in 38.6% of the clues in her semifinal round.
Methinks James won’t be so rattled this time because he’ll know what’s coming but likewise he will need to bring his A-Game because she’s proven herself to be an incredibly Jeopardy! competitor despite her streak only lasting four games.
I literally pulled up the guide on my TV box and set my DVR for tomorrow night and Friday since I’m almost certain I’ll be forgetful and too busy to watch on Friday and I suggest you bros do the same if you’re interested in watching the most intriguing Jeopardy! battle since Ken Jennings took on IBM’s robot named Watson.