James Holzhauer‘s run of 32 straight wins on Jeopardy!, with winnings totaling $2,487,015 (good for second all-time in the Alex Trebek-hosted trivia show’s history, behind only Ken Jennings), came to an end on Monday.
He was upset by Emma Boettcher, who “dominated her warmup games that day, and I knew she would make an extremely tough challenger,” said Holzhauer in a statement. “I was still incredibly impressed by her courage on that ‘True Daily Double.’ I’m proud that it took a top-level player at her absolute best to eliminate me.” Unlike the episode’s third contestant, Jay. That hack.
Anyway, unlike previous episodes, Holzhauer placed a small bet in Final Jeopardy, for reasons explained here, which led to speculation from viewers that the professional sports gambler was throwing the game. It can’t just be that he was beat by someone else — instead, as one conspiracy theory goes, he lost because his “daughter wanted him to come home & the thank you card she made #AlexTrebek sends us the biggest lesson of all: money isn’t everything.” This is in reference to Holzhauer tweeting that “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,” and a very endearing “get well” card.
Holzhauer’s response to this bit of speculation: “Sure, I could stick around and play a game that pays me $150,000 per hour, but I’d really rather get toys thrown at my crotch for free.” Here are some of the other, more wild theories.
Or maybe it was the most simple explanation of all.
Holzhauer probably wanted to relate to that Weird Al song, too.