'Jeopardy!' champ won by just $18 in one of the closest games ever
"Jeopardy!" champion James Holzhauer suffered one of his biggest scares on Monday, when he was nearly beaten by a challenger.
Just before the "Final Jeopardy" round of the popular game show, Holzhauer — a professional sports gambler who was on a 17-day winning streak — led his two fellow contestants with $33,517. His closest competitor, Adam Levin, had $27,000 and a shot at winning the episode if he could bet the right amount of money and solve the final clue.
In the last round, all three contestants were given the following hint: "The oldest of these business booster groups, formed in Marseille, in 1599, uses 'de' instead of 'of' in the name."
Both Holzhauer and Levin got the answer right by replying, "What is the Chamber of Commerce?"
In a determined effort to win, Levin bet all but $1 and came up with $53,999 for getting his response correct. Holzhauer, on the other hand, wagered $20,500 and brought his total to $54,017 — just $18 more than Levin's total.
In an interview with WBZ-TV, Levin said he was glad he gave Holzhauer a run for his money.
"Sometimes you give it your best shot and you might not come out on the winning end, but as long as you give it your best and put it all out there — then you've got nothing to be ashamed of, so I'm really proud of how I did," he said.
Holzhauer's total winnings are now $1,329,604 and trails just previous champion Ken Jennings on the show's all-time, regular-play winnings list. Jennings won more than $2.5 million over the course of 74 games before finally losing to Nancy Zerg in November 2004.
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