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Ike Barinholtz Wows “Jeopardy!” Fans by Advancing to Tournament of Champions' Semifinals

'The Mindy Project' actor called it an "absolute honor" to take part in the Tournament of Champions

<p>ABC/Youtube</p> Ike Barinholtz on "Celebrity Jeopardy"

ABC/Youtube

Ike Barinholtz on "Celebrity Jeopardy"

Ike Barinholtz is proving that he a Jeopardy! contender once again.

After winning Celebrity Jeopardy! in February 2023, The Mindy Project actor returned to the game show to compete in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions on Monday.

When host Ken Jennings asked Barinholtz, 47, about being the first Celebrity Jeopardy! champion to appear on Tournament of Champions, he responded, “I feel like a guinea pig a little bit, but I like guinea pigs, they’re adorable, like me. But yeah, it’s an honor to be here.”

“A lot of people were giving me well wishes, and a lot of them were tinged with the tone of, ‘I thought you were dumb,’” he joked. ‘And I am, full disclosure, but it was wonderful. People were surprised, but I was happy they were saying nice things to me.”

Related: Emma Stone Gets to Live Out Her Dream of Appearing on Jeopardy! — but with Stephen Colbert

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty</p> Ike Barinholtz attends the Variety Antisemitism And Hollywood Summit at 1 Hotel West Hollywood on October 18, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Ike Barinholtz attends the Variety Antisemitism And Hollywood Summit at 1 Hotel West Hollywood on October 18, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

However, the comedian shocked fans by scoring a victory against scenic artist Ray Lalonde and professor Melissa Klapper. Barinholtz entered the final round in second place with $14,800, trailing Klapper with $21,400. 

For the final category, “Poets of Ancient Rome,” the clue was: “Far from Rome, this first century poet wrote, ‘The leader’s anger done, grant me the right to die in my native country.’” Barinholtz and Lalaonde both correctly guessed, “Who is Ovid?”

With a wager of $13,801, The Afterparty actor took first place with $28,601 and advanced to the semifinals. After the win, he turned to the audience — which included his parents Alan and Peggy Barinholtz — and appeared genuinely surprised he had won.

Related: Jeopardy! Host Ken Jennings Reveals the Subject He Nearly Failed in School: 'I Got the C+ I Deserved'

Following the victory, Barinholtz celebrated his victory on social media. 

“What an absolute honor to be on the @jeopardy Tournament of Champions!” he wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of him and Jennings, 49. “Huge thanks to everyone who watched and and the amazing team at Jeopardy! and of course to the incredible champions Ray Lalonde and Melissa Klapper! On to the Semi finals! 👍”

Related: Jeopardy! Host Ken Jennings Reveals the Subject He Nearly Failed in School: 'I Got the C+ I Deserved'

Fans shared their reactions to Barinholtz’s win on social media.

"Watching Ike Barinholtz beat two non-celebrities in the Tournament of Champions is why Jeopardy continues to be the best show on TV," one user shared on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Ike winning on tournament of champions was not on my 2024 bingo card but I am here for this!!” a fan shared, and another user added, “Again, definitely unexpected, but Ike deserved that win.”

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The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions continues weeknights on ABC (check local listings).

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