Paoli native Emma Boettcher, dubbed “the giant killer” by Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek after taking down James Holzhauer, ran out of answers Thursday when it came to American music legends.
And it was another contestant from the Main Line that defeated her.
Boettcher, the 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian who ended Holzhauer’s historic 33-game run on Monday night, was working on extending her own three-game winning streak Thursday.
Boettcher entered Final Jeopardy in second place, just $200 behind Brendan Roach, a policy researcher originally from Wayne. But Boettcher, who wrote her master’s paper on the popular game show, was a single letter off in her answer to last night’s Final Jeopardy clue:
Boettcher got the last name correct — Guthrie — but incorrectly said “A. Guthrie” instead of the correct response, “Woody Guthrie." Ultimately it didn’t matter, because even if Boettcher had answered correctly, she wouldn’t have been able to top the $38,200 Roach ended the game with.
“It’s been a good week for the Main Line,” Roach, who grew up watching Jeopardy! on 6ABC, told The Inquirer.
Jeopardy! films five episodes a day, and Roach was in the audience on March 12 when the episode where Boettcher defeated Holzhauer was filmed. Roach ultimately watched Boettcher rack up three straight wins before his name was drawn to play against her.
“The first time I saw James Holzhauer play Jeopardy!, he lost,” Roach said. “I think we all kind-of respected and were a little scared of Emma, because she took down someone so incredibly good.”
Steve Clarke, a teacher at Holy Child School at Rosemont in Bryn Mawr, said he wasn’t surprised to see his former student succeed on Jeopardy!
“Even as a sixth grader, he had a head for factual information and intellectual curiosity,” Clarke said.
Despite losing, Boettcher will take home $98,002 from her four-game run, including $1,000 for her third-place finish Thursday night. The Conestoga High School graduate told The Daily Princetonian she plans to pay off some loans and donate to her church with some of her winnings. She said she was considering making donations to both Princeton and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where the she received her master’s degree.
“Just being on Jeopardy! was one dream for me. And then to be on and hold my own was another dream," Boettcher told The Inquirer earlier this week. "And then to be on and hold my own and then win was just way beyond anything I ever expected.”
Brady will attempt to defend his Jeopardy! championship in a new episode that airs at 7 p.m. Friday on 6ABC. Jeopardy! will also feature a couple of Philadelphia-area museums on the show in coming weeks.