What is too small of a wager, Alex? If you are James Holzhauer the answer is $1,399. “A modest one for the first time,” host Alex Trebeck commented.
Holzhauer, Jeopardy’s king of the massive wager, put up only a fraction of his $23,400-dollar pot when he entered Final Jeopardy in second place.
All three contestants got the answer right.
But Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, who was in the lead, took a page out of Holzhauer’s playbook and wagered a hefty bet.
His only hope of winning his 33rd game hinged on her getting the question wrong.
Holzhauer took the loss like a champ, immediately giving the new champ a high five.
Since early April, Jeopardy fans watched to see if Holzhauer would break the non-tournament earnings record of $2,520,700 amassed by Ken Jennings in 2004.
But chatter of Holzhauer’s loss hit the internet Sunday night as video of the end of the game was leaked online. Then he seemed to confirm the loss.
In response to CNN’s Brian Stelter about Jeopardy reruns playing at a bar, Holzhauer tweeted: “If it’s a rerun, I probably got this.”
Of course, it’s not like Holzhauer is leaving empty-handed. He solidified his place in the Jeopardy hall of fame with a string of single-game earnings records and raked in a total of $2,462,216.
About his loss, Holzhauer told the Naperville Sun, “I know I played my best and did everything I could so I will hold my head up high.”
But if any Holzhauer is happy about his loss, it might be the champ’s daughter. He tweeted: “My kid cried about the possibility of her dad losing, so I told her we could have a party the day after it inevitably happens. Now she cries when I win.”
There was no amount of money Holzhauer could have bet to win the game. Boettcher’s wager was enough to win, even if he had risked it all.