The source of the leaked Jeopardy! footage that appeared to (and in fact did) spoil the end of James Holzhauer’s winning streak should prepare to face the music — and it won’t be the game show’s pleasant theme song.
On the Monday, June 3 installment of the long-running quizzer, Holzhauer’s 32-day winning streak came to an end when he got bested by Emma Boettcher, a University of Chicago librarian who came out on top by a margin of nearly $22,000.
Holzhauer — a 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas — wound up amassing total winnings of $2,462,216, just $60,000 shy of the record set by Ken Jennings across his 74-game run in 2004.
The outcome of the milestone episode was leaked ahead of time via video of the Final Jeopardy! segment posted to Twitter and ultimately reported on by scores of media outlets, including the New York Times and CNN (and yes, TVLine).
Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman told the Washington Post that while he “can’t say at this point” who leaked the footage, “[w]e think we know where and who and how” it got out. And if that responsible party is in fact tracked down, the show will take “very, very, very appropriate” action.
Given that studio audience members are only asked, and not legally bound, to not disclose what happens during a taping, Friedman said, “We were pleased and surprised that nothing leaked out before this past weekend. I think that speaks for the respect that people in studio audience have for the show.”
That said, the idea that someone would eventually leak the footage that they did puzzles him. “I’m not sure what’s gained by doing something like that, other than some malicious intent,” he said. “It doesn’t really benefit anybody.”