James Holzhauer has a sense of humor about the end of his Jeopardy! run.
The record-smashing champion was nearing the all-time earnings mark on the show when rumors surfaced claiming he had reached the end of his winning streak. Holzhauer didn’t comment directly but did seem to take the reports in stride.
“Knew I shouldn’t have invited Drake to the Jeopardy! taping,” he wrote on Twitter, referring to the hip hop star who has a spotty history with the basketball team he backs.
WARNING: There are some Jeopardy! spoilers ahead.
Holzhauer appeared to be sounding off on a leaked clip that appeared to show his run coming to an end on Monday. The 34-year-old had racked up a haul of $2,464,216 going into Monday’s program, but as the New York Post reported, a viral video clip appeared to show that coming to an end. The short clip, which circulated on social media on Sunday, showed Holzhauer going into Final Jeopardy trailing contestant Emma Boettcher by $3,200.
The clip — which was not initially confirmed to be legitimate as Jeopardy! wouldn’t comment on it — showed both Holzhauer and Boettcher nailing the final question, but Holzhauer failing to bet enough to top the challenger.
The clip was verified later in the day on Monday when the show had already aired in several markets. As The Action Network noted, Holzhauer went into the final question with some strategy that didn’t end up panning out.
“I knew I could only win if Emma missed Final Jeopardy, as there was no way she wouldn’t bet to cover my all-in bet,” Holzhauer told the outlet.
“So my only concern was getting overtaken by third place, and I bet just enough to make sure of locking him out. Betting big would have looked good for the cameras, but now I turn my straight bet (Emma misses) into a parlay (Emma misses and I get it right).”
In today’s episode of Jeopardy, which has already aired in multiple markets, @James_Holzhauer loses on his 33rd episode. We talked to him this morning about his final episode, his run and what’s next for his pro sports betting career https://t.co/DiuPL1qlZN— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 3, 2019
It’s an end that many had seen coming. Former Jeopardy! champion-turned-strategy expert Michael Day had been predicting that Holzhauer’s big-betting style was good to help bring huge one-day earnings, but bad for long-term sustainability.
“It seems like betting big on Daily Doubles—especially if you like the category—and risking a loss is what will maximize your expected winnings. You’ll likely have a shorter run, but you’ll win a lot more money per show,” wrote Day in The Atlantic.
Fans who want to see exactly what happens with James Holzhauer’s run on Jeopardy! will have to tune in on Monday evening to see. It’s not clear if Drake was actually in the audience.