'Jeopardy!' Champ James Holzhauer Hints He Lost on Purpose

Fans read… a lot into Holzhauer’s tribute to retiring NFL quarterback


A lot of “Jeopardy!” fans seemed to think James Holzhauer intentionally threw in the towel, after he tweeted high praise for now-ex Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who announced he is retiring over the weekend.

“I hope to be as brave as Andrew Luck one day,” Holzhauer wrote Saturday night after the Indianapolis Colts quarterback announced his retirement due to chronic injury problems.

He continued: “Imagine reaching the pinnacle of the only job you’ve ever trained for, finding no joy in it, and having the guts to do the right thing for yourself even though millions of fans will hate you for it.”

Here’s the tweet:

Imagine reaching the pinnacle of the only job you've ever trained for, finding no joy in it, and having the guts to do the right thing for yourself even though millions of fans will hate you for it.

— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) August 25, 2019

For some reason, a lot of “Jeopardy!” fans took this to mean that Holzhauer was implying that he himself had already done this.

On Monday, when Holzhauer saw the commotion his Saturday tweet created, he got in the last word, suggesting that people who think he faked his loss are insulting, Emma Boettcher, the woman who defeated him.

Holzhauer’s 32-game, $2,462,216 winning streak on “Jeopardy!” made him a household name earlier this summer, but it ended just shy of Ken Jennings’ all-time winnings record of $2,520,700 when Boettcher stopped the trivia-machine in his tracks on June 3, just $58,484 away from the record.

Conspiracy theorists weighed in almost immediately with suspicion that he threw the game. Holzhauer explained his controversial last “Jeopardy!” bet to The Action Network, saying, “I knew I could only win if Emma missed Final Jeopardy, as there was no way she wouldn’t bet to cover my all-in bet.”

Following the show’s airing, Holzhauer said, “I never really believed I could win 75 shows, but I definitely thought I had a great shot at Ken’s cash winnings record.” He has one more chance to regain his former glory – both Holzhauer and Boettcher have signed on to the show’s 2019 “Tournament of Champions,” in which they will be two of the 15 contestants to compete for a grand prize of $250,000 over a 10-day period from Nov. 4-15.

16 Embarrassing Game Show Fails From 'Family Feud' to 'Jeopardy' (Videos)

  • The first question on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” is generally the easiest, but this sleep-deprived college student still couldn’t manage to get it right.
  • Former “American Idol” contestant Kellie Pickler tried to figure out where Budapest is in a November 2007 episode of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” However, after she determined Europe isn’t a country, it all went downhill.
  • According to this contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” from January 2010, owls squirt ink. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • “Catch 21” contestant Kimberly was determined not to give her competitor Beau five points because she didn’t want him to be 10 points closer to 21. So she gave her fellow contestant Shawn five points, which boosted his score of 16 to a 21. Someone needs a basic math lesson.
  • According to one contestant on “Jeopardy!,” the electronic music duo LMFAO introduced us to “It’s a Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” Erm, nope, that was definitely Jay-Z.
  • This contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” in May 2012 made it to the bonus round, but failed to guess the magic “thing” before time ran out. Clue: It rhymes with wand.
  • “Black” was this “Family Feud” contestant’s answer to “What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of zombies?” Host Steve Harvey looked even more astounded when she justified her answer by saying, “I don’t know if they’re white.”
  • In April 2014, Julian from Indiana was on “Wheel of Fortune” and lost the round by mispronouncing the winning phrase … and then blew the next two rounds, too.
  • In the fast money round of “Family Feud,” two family members need to get 200 points combined by answering a series of survey questions. In this episode from May 2014, the first member scored a whopping 182 points, meaning the second member only needed 18 points to win … which she failed to get.
  • Sometimes buzzing in first isn’t always the best idea, especially when the question is “Name something a doctor might pull out of a person” and you respond with “gerbil.”
  • You get a car, you get a car, everybody gets a car!“Price Is Right” model Manuela Arbelaez thought she’d lost her job (she didn’t) when she accidentally gave away a free car in April 2015. Luckily, the producers thought the goof was hilarious.
  • We’ll take “You’re All a Bunch of Losers” for $500, Alex. Unfortunately, “Springf” isn’t a city in the United States.
  • If this woman on “Family Feud” could ask the Wizard of Oz one thing to give her husband it would be — “a really big thing.” Could you be more specific?
  • This wasn’t an accident. “Jeopardy!” contestant Viraj Mehta from Stanford Unviersity said that he subtly flipped off the camera during his February 2017 episode on purpose. Luckily for us, it wasn’t censored.
  • We guess he just isn’t a Tennessee Williams fan? Missing any “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle with just one letter missing would hurt, but this “A Streetcar Naked Desire” gaffe from March 2017 is just embarrassing.
  • EMINEM AND JACK WHITE ARE NOT THE SAME, JULIE! #Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/eLVyk1TNn2— Hunter Alek Homistek (@HunterAHomistek) January 12, 2018Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? Yes, both Eminem and Jack White have roots in Detroit, but come on, Em is not the guy who wrote “Seven Nation Army.”

Everyone says and does dumb things, but some of us unfortunately do it on national TV

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