James Holzhauer reveals his 'Jeopardy!' fate, and of course Drake is involved

“Jeopardy!” became must-watch television over the previous weeks as James Holzhauer, a professional sports bettor from Las Vegas, racked up record winnings.

Word began to swirl Monday morning that the streak by Holzhauer, who has nearly $2.5 million in earnings over 32 wins, was over and “Jeopardy!” James referenced it in multiple tweets.

If you don’t want to know what happens Monday night — or may not have happened, since nothing is confirmed — don’t read further.

‘Jeopardy!’ footage leaked

A video made the rounds overnight showing a Final Jeopardy! clip from an episode. There is nothing about which episode or when it will air. “Jeopardy!” episodes are filmed months in advance with multiple games played a day.

The clip shows the final minutes of a question with the answer “Christopher Marlowe.” Holzhauer is trailing heading into the final question and though he answers correctly, he shocks Alex Trebek with a low wager.

A woman named Emma was in the lead and wagered a large amount, winning the game with the correct answer to upend Holzhauer. He’s seen coming into the frame to give her a high-five.

The official Jeopardy account shared the contestants for Monday’s game that afternoon: James, Jay .. and Emma.

Holzhauer confirmed he lost

Holzhauer, who announced with his wife a donation to a birthing center in Haiti over the weekend, continued his Twitter streak with subtle tips to his upset.

Late Sunday on the West Coast, he retweeted a photo from CNN media writer Brian Stelter showing “Jeopardy!” episodes playing at a bar. His response is spoiler-free even given the leaked footage.

Monday morning he shared a USA Today Sports article asserting Holzhauer’s streak will go on for a while based on data from sports analytics professors at Syracuse University.


Holzhauer then confirmed he lost in an interview with the New York Times.

“Nobody likes to lose,” Holzhauer said. “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.”

Holzhauer was expected to eclipse Ken Jennings’ record earnings Monday. Jennings won $2,520,700 over 74 games in 2004. Holzhauer came up just $58,484 short of breaking the record.

Syracuse professors Shane Sanders and Justin Ehrlich projected via a probability theory based on “Jeopardy!” archives that Holzhauer would win 98 more games before losing.

Sanders told USA Today Sports:

“It’s somewhat like projecting how many months will pass before lightning strikes a building. We can get a good projection that has nice statistical properties. However, statistics provide no guarantees as to when that low probability event will take place.”

‘Drake curse’ hits ‘Jeopardy!’

Drake is doing his his thing at the NBA Finals, where his Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors are locked at one game apiece, but it doesn’t mean his curse is gone.

Holzhauer, a big-time sports fan who has aspirations of working in MLB, used him as an excuse for the loss.

The “Drake Curse” is a reference to the idea that teams and athletes the rapper Drake roots for tend to lose championships. (He’s accused of being a bandwagon fan.) It’s being used Monday for Anthony Joshua’s defeat in a heavyweight boxing bout while “Aubrey” is trending for a conversation postgame between Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Drake.

As all “Degrassi” fans know the superstar rapper and Raptors ambassador was born Aubrey Graham.

Holzhauer addresses his future

Now that his streak on “Jeopardy!” is over, Holzhauer will likely return to his sports gambling career in Las Vegas.

He has floated the idea of working in baseball in some fashion, and even caught the attention of multiple prominent Major League Baseball executives — including the Oakland A’s general manager and the Boston Red Sox president — both who seemed extremely interested in hiring him.

For now, though, Holzhauer is content with where he’s at.

“(My) interest in sports remains strong, but I love Vegas and I’m in no hurry to leave,” he told the ActionNetwork.

With his newfound fame, Holzhauer’s biggest concern is simply his ability to still place bets in Las Vegas.

“The public might not have known my name two months ago, but all the sportsbook managers in Vegas were already familiar with me,” Holzhauer told the Action Network. “I hope I can still get my bets down.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 21:  Professional sports gambler and "Jeopardy!" champion James Holzhauer of Nevada sounds a siren in the Castle before the start of Game Six of the Western Conference First Round between the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on April 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Sharks defeated the Golden Knights 2-1 in double overtime to even the series at 3-3.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
James Holzhauer's 'Jeopardy!' streak may have ended. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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