'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. 

RELATED: Scroll through the funniest "Jeopardy!" moments of all time: 

Funniest 'Jeopardy!' moments of all time
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Funniest 'Jeopardy!' moments of all time

Alex Trebek tryin' to be a cool host

He adorably rapped lyrics by hip-hop artists Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Desiigner and Kanye West.

All we have to say: Hahahahaha

Watson's Final Jeopardy answer fail 

Did that really happen!?

The worst trio of contestants ever to appear on the show


Ken Jennings' epic answer

Watch for yourself ... no words can do it justice. 

An epic Alex Trebek burn

"Hahahaha, no."

Wolf Blitzer loses $4,600 in the first round


A rare, three-way $0 finish

Silly kids! For the first time in a tournament semifinal match, all three contestants ended up with no money.

Contestant makes poop joke

One contestant had quite the potty mouth on this 1986 episode.

Teen contestant drops F-bomb: 'Oh f-ck!'

Yup, our thoughts exactly. 

Alex Trebek starts a show without pants

Maybe he isn't all that uptight after all!


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