As knowledgeable sports activities bettor, James Holzhauer has sweated out numerous video games that got here all the way down to the ultimate play.
However none in comparison with his comeback win within the finale of “Jeopardy! Masters,” which the Las Vegas resident referred to as “the largest backdoor cowl of my profession.”
Holzhauer was topped Masters champion Wednesday night time after edging Mattea Roach in a two-game, total-point title match that was determined in Last Jeopardy.
The self-described sport present villain claimed the $500,000 grand prize and Trebek Trophy, and he additionally received a $100,000 donation to Undertaking 150 — an area charity that gives free help and companies to homeless, displaced and deprived highschool college students in Nevada.
“The charitable donation undoubtedly means essentially the most to me,” Holzhauer informed the Evaluate-Journal. “(My spouse) Melissa and I pushed arduous for this to be a part of the prize. If I had misplaced, I’d have been positive lacking out on 500K however would have felt like I failed Undertaking 150.”
Holzhauer dominated the three-week event of high-ranked “Jeopardy!” champions, successful 9 of 10 video games, together with all three within the semifinals, en path to the finale towards Roach and Matt Amodio, who dealt him his lone loss.
However Holzhauer trailed Roach heading into the ultimate clue of the occasion. The final class was “Latins in Literature,” and the clue was “A piece by this fifteenth century English author quotes the phrase ‘rex quondam rexque futurus.’”
Roach wagered 5,915 factors, which might’ve ensured a one-point win over Holzhauer if he doubled up on Last Jeopardy they usually each answered appropriately.
However Roach, who makes use of they-them pronouns, gave the fallacious reply once they wrote, “Who’s Chaucer?”
Holzhauer additionally incorrectly guessed “Who’s T.H. White?” (the reply was Thomas Malory). However he wagered solely 119 factors — which represented his daughter’s birthday of November 9 — to high Roach by 2,110 factors.
His two-game whole was 43,795 and theirs was 41,685.
“I knew Last was a sport idea downside: if Mattea bets large I have to go small, and vice versa,” Holzhauer mentioned. “I mentally flipped a coin — subsequent time I’d wager every little thing.”
Roach, whose father died instantly of a mind aneurysm throughout the filming of the event, received $250,000 for second place.
“You performed amazingly, your dad is so pleased with you,” Holzhauer informed Roach as they hugged after the finale. “Your mother, too.”
Amodio received $150,000 for third place, Andrew He $100,000 for fourth, Amy Schneider $75,000 for fifth and Sam Buttrey $50,000 for sixth.
“This was a troublesome discipline and I’m shocked I received as many matches as I did,” Holzhauer mentioned. “Everyone seems to be taking part in strategically and aggressively, and I like to see it.”
Holzhauer, who received $2.4 million on “Jeopardy!’ throughout a 32-game win streak in 2019, elevated his all-time winnings on the quiz present (together with tournaments) to $3.4 million, which is third behind Brad Rutter ($4.9 million) and host Ken Jennings ($4.3 million).
All three finalists within the Masters can have the prospect to return to the competitors for subsequent yr’s present. Holzhauer, who will return to the ABC quiz present “The Chase” in late June, joked about his “Jeopardy!” future on Twitter.
“Perhaps I’ll enroll at USC for a yr, play Faculty Jeopardy,” he posted (@James_Holzhauer). “By no means used up my eligibility.”
He hinted to the RJ that he received’t be again to defend his title.
“Will I be again subsequent yr?” he mentioned. “Going out on high appears to have labored out OK for Ken.”
Holzhauer will assist run the Recreation Present Boot Camp in Las Vegas on Aug. 5 to learn Undertaking 150. These ought to go to gameshowbootcamp.org.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Observe @tdewey33 on Twitter.