Who Won The 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions? James Holzhauer And Emma Boettcher Battle It Out In Rematch

There's no telling how long James Holzhauer would have remained on the game quiz show Jeopardy! had he not lost to Emma Boettcher last spring. The two met again in a long-awaited rematch during the game's Tournament of Champions finals on Thursday and Friday.

In the Final Jeopardy! topic of "international disputes," both contestants nailed the correct response. However, it was Holzhauer's overall prowess through two days that gave him the Tournament of Champions title for 2019.

Holzhauer told Alex Trebek, the game's host, that he "wanted a little bit of a cushion" before Friday's deciding round. Holzhauer began Friday with a $23,000 lead over Boettcher, and that cushion was needed as Boettcher outscored him on Friday.

The final two-day money count for the contestants was:

James Holzhauer — $76,923
Emma Boettcher — $65,000
Francois Barcomb — $5,000

James Holzhauer Jeopardy Champion
Professional sports gambler and former "Jeopardy!" champion James Holzhauer poses at the IGT booth during the trade show debut of two "Jeopardy!"-themed IGT slot machines during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) at the Sands Expo and Convention Center on October 15, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, rolled the dice and bet heavy at times. It proved to be worth it in the end, especially after getting out to a relatively slow start.

Boettcher jumped out to a quick lead Friday before Holzhauer not only took the lead with $2,600, but he nailed the Daily Double by correctly saying, "What is Diner's Club," on a selection from Nifty Fifties. Holzhauer, in his true gambling fashion, wagered all of his money to give him $5,200, and a $3,000 lead early in the game.

Holzhauer extended his lead to nearly $5,000 before Boettcher chipped away at that lead and Holzhauer missed a $1,000 square. He led by $2,200 after the first round.

Holzhauer built a $10,000 lead before Boettcher answered a question for $2,000, then nailed a true Daily Double for $8,600 on the next question to take a $1,200 lead, $17,200 to $16,000.

Holzhauer trailed by just $400 when he pulled the Daily Double, wagering $8,615 of his $19,200. He missed it, dropping his score to $10,585.

The clue in Final Jeopardy! for "International Disputes" was: "A dispute over Etorofu, Habomai, Kunashiri and Shikotan has kept these two countries from ever signing a WWII peace treaty."

The correct response was, "What are Japan and Russia?"

Boettcher won the day with $38,600, besting Holzhauer's $27,597 for the day. But it was the two-day effort that helped him win the tournament.

After the first TV break on Friday, Trebek asked each contestant a question about their time since leaving the show. He asked Holzhauer after he won $2.4 million last spring, if people had "come out of the woodworks" asking for favors, or money.

"Surprisingly no," Holzhauer said. "But thanks for giving them ideas now," he continued, drawing chuckles throughout the studio.

Holzhauer won $250,000 for claiming the Tournament of Champions title. Boettcher, a user experience librarian from Chicago, was awarded $100,000 for second place.

Holzhauer won 32-consecutive games last spring, and was about $58,000 away from breaking Ken Jennings' all-time regular-season record of winnings, but that was before Boettcher tripped up his run. Boettcher won three regular-season games.

Who Won The 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions? James Holzhauer And Emma Boettcher Battle It Out In Rematch | News