End of ‘Jeopardy!’ run has James Holzhauer joking about Tom Brady and the ‘Drake Curse’

Holzhauer had won 32 games consecutively and was just $58,485 away from breaking the record for total money won on the show.

"Jeopardy!” powerhouse James Holzhauer earlier in his run –Photo by Carol Kaelson, Jeopardy Productions

After his record-setting run on the popular game show came to an end Monday, Holzhauer took to social media to crack jokes about Tom Brady and the “Drake Curse.”

“Knew I shouldn’t have invited Drake to the Jeopardy taping,” Holzhauer wrote.

Holzhauer was referring to the widely held perception, fair or not, that Drake’s penchant for associating himself with successful sports teams and athletes has had the side effect of causing those teams and athletes to lose in high-profile ways.

The latest example came on Saturday, when previously undefeated heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua – who posted a photo last month of himself with the hip-hop superstar and captioned it, “Bout to break the curse” – suffered a stunning upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Last month, an Italian soccer club went so far as to ban its players from “taking photos with Drake until the end of the season.” The edict, delivered in just-kidding-but-not-really fashion, came after several soccer stars posed with Drake to their respective teams’ detriment.

While Holzhauer’s tweet was also meant to amuse, it proved doubly disappointing for some “Jeopardy!” fans, given that he posted it early in the afternoon on the East Coast. That meant that many hadn’t watched the fateful episode yet, and for those who got the joke, Holzhauer had provided a spoiler for an episode they then knew would result in defeat for their favorite contestant.

It took an exceptional effort by University of Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, who racked up $46,801 to Holzhauer’s $24,799 to end his streak. Making the loss all the more painful, at least for his fans if not for the professional sports bettor himself, was that Holzhauer was just $58,485 away from breaking Ken Jennings’s record for greatest “Jeopardy!” cash haul.

Of course, it took Jennings 74 straight wins to amass that sum in 2004, whereas Holzhauer needed just 32, plus Monday’s setback, to accumulate his total. He used an aggressive strategy, applying a fearless approach to wagering born of his day job, as it were, as well as a remarkable breadth of knowledge to become a major national story line.

Along the way, Holzhauer piqued the interest of Brady. The Patriots quarterback, famed for his ultra-ascetic eating habits, used his Twitter account to claim in March that if “James” lost on that evening’s episode he would eat a strawberry, live on his Instagram account.

Fortunately for Brady, who has a stated aversion to the popular fruit, Holzhauer kept his streak going at the time. It’s over now, though, leading the latter to wonder aloud what the six-time Super Bowl champions “plans to eat” on Instagram tomorrow.

Holzhauer, who makes his home in Las Vegas, also gave a shout-out Monday to that city’s NHL squad, of which he is a fan. He retweeted a post from the Golden Knights, who told him he “made Vegas proud” and who said they looked forward to seeing him back at their arena next season.

Now, if the Golden Knights can just convince Drake to stay away . . .

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