James Holzhauer’s historic 32-win streak on Jeopardy! came to a shocking end in a game that was broadcast Monday and, in 21st-century style, leaked on social media over the weekend.
In his final game, a clip of which was shared widely on social media on Sunday, Holzhauer is dethroned by contestant Emma Boettcher, a University of Chicago librarian.
During Final Jeopardy, Holzhauer correctly answered the clue: The line “A great reckoning in a little room” in As You Like It is usually taken to refer to this author’s premature death. But he entered the final round in second place and bet an unusually low $1,399.
“His wager, a modest one for the first time,” host Alex Trebek said in response to the bet.
All told, the professional sports gambler’s score was bumped from $23,400 to $24,799, while Boettcher, who entered Final Jeopardy with $26,600, bet big and ended up winning with $46,801.
It was a dramatic end to a historic streak that saw Holzhauer, who won an average of $77,000 per game, fall just $58,484 short of breaking Ken Jennings’ $2.52 million record.
“What a game!” Trebek said after Boettcher’s final score appeared, The New York Times reported. “Oh my gosh!”
Holzhauer may not have broken the record set by Jennings, who had 74 consecutive wins in 2004, but he will still take home a total of $2,464,216.
Holzhauer gave Trebek a high-five when he won second place.
“Nobody likes to lose,” Holzhauer told the Times in an interview. “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.”
He also tweeted that he “shouldn’t have invited [rapper] Drake to the Jeopardy taping,” jokingly referring to the “Drake curse” that says whichever team the rapper roots for loses.
Boettcher, who wrote a 70-page paper analyzing whether particular phrasing in Jeopardy! clues could determine question difficulty, told the Times she didn’t know Holzhauer had a 32-win streak before facing off against him during the show’s pre-recording in March.
“I was trying just not to dwell on it,” Boettcher told the newspaper when asked about Holzhauer’s mastery of the game. “I had already steeled myself to expect the unexpected, just roll with whatever was happening, take one clue at a time.”
However, Boettcher lucked out after both she and Holzhauer had played “perfect” games—or not guessing a single clue incorrectly. She told the newspaper Holzhauer emailed her congratulations after her win and offered her some insights from his long winning streak.
“As soon as the game was over, I turned to the [other contestants] and I said, ‘I’m so proud of us. This is so rare. Look at what we did,’” Boettcher said.