‘Jeopardy! Masters’ Names a Champion After Nail-Biting Last-Minute Upset — Find Out Who Won!
The multi-week tournament treated fans to several round-robin face-offs between previous champions Sam Buttrey, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, Andrew He, Mattea Roach and James Holzhauer
Warning: This post contains spoilers about the Jeopardy! Masters final.
Jeopardy! Masters has named its first champion!
On Wednesday’s episode, self-proclaimed "Game Show Villain" James Holzhauer took home the grand prize of $500,000 as well as the inaugural Trebek Trophy after beating out fellow contestant Mattea Roach by around 2,000 points.
Mattea, who uses they-them pronouns, held a hefty lead against both James and fellow contestant Matt Amodio heading into final jeopardy.
The last category of the night was “Latins in Literature,” and the clue read: “A work by this 15th century English writer quotes the phrase ‘rex quondam rexque futurus.'”
Related: Why Mayim Bialik Walked Off the Set of 'Jeopardy!'
Heading into the round with the 3,200 points, Matt forfeited the question and decided to build suspense by writing, “Who… will… win?!?!?!” after he had wagered 0 points.
James, with 9,600 points, incorrectly guessed “Who is T.H. White?” with a wager of 119 points. Though Mattea possessed a wide lead against their competitors with 22,800, they gave the wrong answer when they wrote down, “Who is Chaucer?”
With Mattea’s wager of 5,915 points, 38-year-old Illinois native James took home the gold and ended the competition with 43,795 points overall.
Placing in second, Mattea scored a total of 41,685 and won a prize of $250,000 while Matt came in third with a tally of 15,200 and received a prize of $150,000. In addition to James's hefty half-a-million dollar winnings, Jeopardy! Masters will donate $100,000 to the contestant’s charity of choice.
Related: Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings Are Officially 'Jeopardy!' Co-Hosts: 'We Couldn't Be More Thrilled'
All three finalists will have the opportunity to return to the competition for next year’s show.
Following his win, James celebrated Mattea and their fantastic run with a sweet message that included both congratulations and condolences.
“You played amazingly, your dad is so proud of you,” he gushed as the two hugged. “Your mom too.”
Related: 'Jeopardy!' Champion Mattea Roach's Father Dies of a Brain Aneurysm at Age 57
Earlier this month, Mattea’s father, Phillip Roach, died suddenly from a brain aneurysm while they were competing on the show. He was 57. On Tuesday’s semi-finals episode, the 24-year-old podcaster announced they would be dedicating their run on the legendary quiz show to their father in order to honor his legacy.
Related: 'Jeopardy!' Champion Mattea Roach Pays Tribute to Their Father After He Died 'Very Suddenly'
“Unfortunately, my dad actually passed away at the start of the month very suddenly,” they said during an anecdote, adding that their dad was “a huge part of the reason why I’m here. He and my mom instilled an early love of geography in me. My dad taught me all about Turner Classic Movies and old music and all sorts of things.”
This year’s Jeopardy! Master’s competition was not only marked by loss, but also new life.
Fourth-place finisher Andrew He, who made it to the semifinals, welcomed a son during the tournament.
Related: 'Jeopardy! Masters' Contestant Andrew He Reveals Arrival of Baby Boy Midway Through Tournament
On a previous episode, host Ken Jennings asked the new father about the family's latest addition. "I have a newborn son," he shared. "Thanks to just everyone in the world, I guess, but especially the Jeopardy! crew."
"I had the double blessing of going from being here on the stage to within 24 hours going with my partner and welcoming the arrival of our son," he continued.
The new dad went on to shout out his wife, Sarah, dedicating his game to her: "I just want to say to Sarah, I love you so much. This is for you and I wouldn't be anywhere near here if not for you. So I'm gonna have to bring something nice for you and everyone."
Also in the tournament, fan-favorite players Amy Schneider and Sam Buttrey finished in fifth and sixths place, respectively.
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Though Masters has concluded, Jeopardy! continues to air weeknights on ABC (check local listings).
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