RICHMOND- Last summer he wowed the competition racking up victories and cash in the blink of an eye. Now he has added to his legacy with an official statement of dominance.
James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas NV, has won the 2019 Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, taking home the top prize of $250,000.
Emma Boettcher, a librarian from Chicago IL, and the woman who beat Holzhauer in his original run won second and took home $100,000. Francois Barcomb, the Teachers Tournament champion from New Paltz NY finished 3rd with $50,000.
Holzhauerwent into Day 2 of the finale with a Day 1 score of $49,396, compared to Boettcher’s $26,400 and Francois Barcomb’s $1,800.
Holzhauer ended night 2 with a total of $27,597. giving him $76,923 for the finale. Boettcher ended the match with $65,000 after scoring $38,600 on the second night, and Barcomb ended with $5,000 after getting $3,200.
Though Holzhauer did not win in night 2, the combined two-day score saw him walkout from his podium as the winner.
Holzhauer’s previous run saw him set extremely high marks with his aggressive wagering that culminated in more than $2.4 million in earnings in 32 games including the one day record of $131,127.
He has now won more than $2.7 million on the show this year, second only to Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, the two highest-scoring players in the show’s history and perhaps the most famous of them all.
The Tournament of Champions this year was funded by Consumer Cellular and marked by all the players wearing purple ribbons on their shirts as a tribute to the fight against pancreatic cancer which sadly took the life of Larry Martin, who won the Teachers Tournament before Barcomb, and who was supposed to compete in the TOC this year.
Semi-Finalist Gilbert Collins was the one who came up with the idea of wearing the ribbons.
Host Alex Trebek came out earlier this saying he was fighting a battle against the same disease. College Champion Dhruv Gaur, a semi-finalist, paid tribute to the legendary game show host with a special response of “We Love You Alex” that brought Trebek to near tears.
Gaur appeared The Ellen Show to speak about his experience.
“Jeopardy!” alumni organized a fundraiser for the cause, encouraging viewers to play along at home during both Thursday and Friday’s finals episodes and donate $1 for each correct response they come up with to the Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research.
Fellow semi-finalist Steven Grade was a big advocate for starting this program.
Holzhauer was no exception. He developed a very close relationship with Trebek during both of his runs on the show. Holzhauer even made a donation to a pancreatic cancer walk in Trebek’s name after the news was revealed to the world.
There is no word as to when or if Holzhauer will return to the show, but his run this year has been incredible as well as all of the fellow competitors in the Tournament of Champions this year.
Boettcher was especially impressive as she defied the odds as a three-time champion to come within one win of the entire tournament.
Holzhauer and his wife Melissa have been bent on donating the money to those in need and have no plans to cease that. For now, they can also celebrate with their daughter Natasha as James staked his claim as one of the greatest players in the show’s history.
Congratulations James and everyone else in the tournament for giving us an unbelievable finish.