'Jeopardy!': Who beat champ James Holzhauer? Meet librarian Emma Boettcher
"Jeopardy!" fans were stunned on Monday night when James Holzhauer's 32-game win streak suddenly came to an end.
Holzhauer's final winnings amounted to $2,462,216, which fell just shy of Ken Jennings' $2,520,700, which he won over 74 games back in 2004. So, who finally took him down?
That would be Emma Boettcher, a 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian, whose one-day tally of $46,801 bested Holzhauer's $24,777.
NBC News reports that Boettcher has been a longtime fan of the Alex Trebek-hosted game show: When she was in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, she penned an award-winning master's paper on "Jeopardy!" questions titled, "What is Difficulty?: Estimating the Difficulty of Fact-Finding Questions Using the 'Jeopardy' Archive."
As the outlet noted, "she examined the difficulty of answers and questions based on the length of the clue, the syntax used and other factors." So, to say that she was prepared to beat Holzhauer would be an understatement.
The paper won her the UNC library school's Elfreda Chatman Research Award during her time getitng her master's degree in information science at the university. She had previously majored in English at Princeton University.
After earning her master's, Boettcher went to work at UChicago in August 2016, where she works as the "user experience resident librarian," which essentially means that she helps students efficiently find the books, information and sources that they're looking for.
"We are just so proud and excited for her," said supervising University of Chicago librarian Elisabeth Long. "We realized she must be going up against him, and he just seemed unbeatable, he's a machine. I thought, if anyone could do it, Emma can. She loves 'Jeopardy!' and I think has been preparing for this her whole life."
Hilariously, Boettcher took the day off on Monday, the day her first episode of "Jeopardy!" aired on national television.