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James Holzhauer takes 'Jeopardy' championship crown but rival Emma Boettcher gives him a run for the $250,000 prize

Suzanne Baker, The Naperville Sun on

Published in Entertainment News

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- James Holzhauer's day job as a professional sports gambler came in handy this week as he claimed the title of undisputed champion of "Jeopardy!" season 35.

After a tense two-day battle, the Naperville native walked away with the $250,000 prize after finishing with a total of $76,923.

But it was no runaway for Holzhauer, who faced off against Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, the woman responsible for ending his 32-game winning streak in June.

The clash of the two trivia titans was the rematch "Jeopardy!" fans had been waiting for, and the win could have easily gone to Boettcher had it not been for Holzhauer's betting bravura.

After losing the first game Thursday, Boettcher won Friday, her $38,600 total topping Holzhauer's $27,597.

However, because the scores of the two-day finals are combined to determine the winner, Holzhauer's first day total of $49,326 gave him a commanding lead over Boettcher's $26,400 going into the second day.

 

In the end, his $76,923 two-day total topped her $65,000 final amount.

Boettcher's second-place win netted her $100,000 in prize money.

Third place and $50,000 went to New York physics teacher Francois Barcomb. He tallied $5,000 over the two days.

Family and friends of Holzhauer packed Quigley's Irish Pub in downtown Naperville Friday afternoon to cheer on the native son who now lives in Las Vegas.

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