But it was Emma Boettcher who walked away not only with a win and United States $46,801 (NZ$ 71,041), but a unique role in show history: the challenger who finally brought down superstar James Holzhauer. The bet was uncharacteristically small for the professional gambler, but he later explained it was to ensure he didn't come in third place even if he got the question wrong. "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)".
"Honestly, I feel a little bit of the same letdown I did when I lost in 2004".
Many Jeopardy fans were surprised that Holzhauer would wager such a low amount in such a tight game - in fact, the strategy seems directly opposed to his usual "bet it all" M.O. The move caused many fans to question whether James Holzhauer threw Jeopardy or whether he lost on objective.
Holzhauer did not return a request for comment; nor did Jennings or a "Jeopardy!" publicist. So, even if Holzhauer had risked it all, he still would've lost by $1.
"'Hello, I'd like to bet against myself on this pre-recorded TV show, '" Holzhauer sarcastically tweeted.
Both Boettcher and Holzhauer correctly answered, "Who is Christopher Marlowe?"
Fans are hoping for a Jennings-Holzhauer showdown, and Jennings said: "It's going to happen at some point".
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Holzhauer was trailing Boettcher by enough that his only hope was that she botch the Final Jeopardy question.
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"She played a ideal game", he told the Times.
"I really felt like I had been playing with house money, so I wasn't too upset to see my run end", Holzhauer told the Associated Press in an email interview.
Holzhauer also leaves the show with the 16 highest one-day scores in "Jeopardy!" history, and a smile on his face.
"I started to prepare myself to think it's an honor just to be on the show with" Holzhauer, Long said. The tactic-and Holzhauer's smarts-resulted in him becoming just the second-ever Jeopardy! contestant to rack up over $2 million in winnings.
'Now she cries when I win'. Brad appeared on the show before they did away with the five-day limit, but through various tournament appearances, he's racked up lifetime earnings of $4,788,435.
In all, she earned $660,930 and has a secure spot in the "Jeopardy!". "And that was what it took to beat me".