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Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time: Full results, winners by episode during champions tournament

Sporting News — (Vinnie Iyer)

"Jeopardy!" has never been more popular. Now America's premier answer-and-question general knowledge quiz show is bigger and better than ever before with the Greatest of All Time tournament.

Consider it to be the ultimate tournament of champions, as the three best and winningest players in the modern version of the game's 36-year history — Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer — battled to become known as the GOAT player.

While the regular half-hour edition of the show continues to air in syndication, "Jeopardy! GOAT," taped in December,  played out in prime time for a national audience with host Alex Trebek. Trebek, 79, continues to battle Stage 4 pancreatic cancer while attending to his emcee duties.

Here's a guide to everything you should know about "Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time" tournament, including how it worked and how the braniac drama played out over two weeks:

Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time format, explained

Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holtzhauer battled for a $1 million jackpot in addition to their previous winnings. The first player who won three hour-long matches took home the top prize. Each match consists of two regular games featuring the Jeopardy!, Double Jeopardy! and Final Jeopardy! rounds, including the typical three Daily Doubles. The two runners-up settled for a $250,000 prize each.

With three champions who have dominated lesser opponents in their various past "Jeopardy!" runs, the degree of difficulty was raised. The answers were more difficult, leading to few more missed questions than usual despite he highest caliber of players.

Before the $1.5 million in total prizes are awarded, the dollar values on the board instead showed up as point values.

Jeopardy! champions, contestants

Ken Jennings

Jennings, 45, holds the record for the longest winning streak in "Jeopardy!" history with his 74-game run in 2004, one year after the show removed its five-day limit on returning champions. He won $2.5 million during his original run and an additional $1 million-plus in other tournament appearances over the past 15 years. The Washington state native and BYU graduate was a software engineer when he first competed on the show. He now works as an author while living in the Seattle area. 

Brad Rutter

Rutter, 41, went into GOAT having never lost in "Jeopardy!" play to a human contestant, including Jennings. Only IBM's Watson could claim victory over him. Rutter has racked up $4.876 million playing "Jeopardy!" in various formats since his original capped five-day run in 2000, during which he won $97,102 in cash and prizes.

Since then, he's won in the Tournament of Champions, the Million Dollar Masters, the Battle of the Decades, the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and as a team captain in the 2019 All-Star Games. The Pennsylvania native lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a TV host, producer and actor.

James Holzhauer

Holzhauer, 35, went on his 32-game "Jeopardy!" winning streak from April to June in 2019. During that run, he won more than $2.46 million before adding another $250,000 by winning the subsequent Tournament of Champions. The Naperville, Illinois native and University of Illinois graduate now is a professional sports gambler living in Las Vegas.

*** Warning: Spoilers and final results beyond this point ***

Jeopardy! GOAT winners by episode

Match 1 winner: Ken Jennings

Jennings edged out Holzhauer by 200 points in the two-game match with 63,400 points, winning 45,000 and 18,400 points, respectively, in the two games. The match marked the first time Jennings has defeated Rutter, who uncharacteristically struggled on key Daily Doubles and finished a distant third.

Jennings needed to wager smartly and get both Final Jeopardy! questions right to hold off Holzhauer. Here's what the answers were:

Game 1

Category: Presidents & The Bible

Clue: "'Silent' Calvin Coolidge was inaugurated in 1925 on a Bible open to this six-word first line of the Gospel According to John."

Correct response: What is 'In the beginning was the Word'?

Game 2

Category: Astronomers

Clue: "This man's name was given to a comet that crashed into Jupiter in 1994; he's the only human whose remains lie on the moon."

Correct response: Who is (Eugene) Shoemaker?

Match 2 winner: James Holzhauer

Holzhauer was only up 44,314 to 40,000 on Jennings after the first game, but he separated himself by dominating the second game, getting Final Jeopardy! right while Jennings missed. Rutter once again had a rough outing, earning only 14,400 and getting into the red with a negative score in the second game.

The favorite is now down a game to both Holzhauer and Jennings. Rutter will now need to rally to win three of the next five matches. The split also means the matches will go into at least next Tuesday. Here's a look at the Final Jeopardy! clues:

Game 1

Category: Influential Writing

Clue: "Its second line is 'All The Powers of Old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope & Czar, Metternich & Gizot…' "

Correct response: What is 'The Communist Manifesto'?

Game 2

Category: 19th Century Leaders

Clue: "Tall. lanky Joel Barlow was an ambassador carrying messages between these 2 world leaders, both mocked for being short."

Correct response: Who are Napoleon and (James) Madison?

Match 3 winner: Ken Jennings

Jennings found his Match 1 groove and came out a little more aggressive, with a true Daily Double that shot him well ahead of Holzhauer in Double Jeopardy! of Game 1. Then Jennings went "all in" in Final Jeopardy! to double his total from 25,600 to 51,200. Holzhauer was in a big hole with only 27,200, while Rutter again was third with 17,600.

Jennings maintained his big lead in Game 2, and had the match clinched before Final, ending up at 67,600, with Holzhauer at 33,692 and Rutter getting to 23,467. After all three contestants got Final Jeopardy! right in the first game, all three missed in the second game, with Holzhauer using his response to dub Trebek the GHOST (Greatest Host of Syndicated TV) and Rutter sharing his love for the Super Bowl 52 champion Philadelphia Eagles. Here are those easy and hard clues:

Game 1

Category: U.S. Political History

Clue: "These 2 now-defunct parties each gave the U.S. 4 presidents in the 19th century."

Correct response: What is Democrat-Republican and Whig?

Game 2 

Category: 21st Century Oscar Winners

Clue: "These 2 foreign-born directors have each won Best Director Oscars, but none of their films has won Best Picture."

Correct response: Who are Ang Lee and Alfonso Cuaron?

Match 4 and Jeopardy! GOAT winner: Ken Jennings

Jennings had a remarkable run in winning three of four matches to Holzhauer having the lone victory and Rutter not claiming one. It was a bit tenuous in the finale, because Holzhauer was in position to make a great comeback in Game 2 to even the matches 2-2. But while Jennings got both Final Jeopardy! questions right, Holzhauer badly missed his golden opportunity to finish the rally.

Going into Final in Game 1, Jennings held a 10,000-point lead, 32,800 points to Holzhauer's 22,800 points. Holzhauer wagered 11,381 points to get to 34,181, but Jennings doubled up to 65,600.

In Game 2, Holzhauer finally was able to get one of his patented late Double Jeopardy! Daily Doubles, going "all in" to take a commanding 44,000 to 23,000 lead over Jennings. But while Jennings wagered nothing to stay put in Final, Holzhauer went "all in" again, dropping to 0 instead of jumping to a winning 88,000.

Jennings deserved to win all the way with a strong all-around performance, getting the toughest clues right throughout and getting rewarded most with aggressiveness on Daily Doubles. Holzhauer was effective with his speed on the buzzer to sometimes fluster Rutter, who found none of his usual dominant rhythm. Jennings was the happy medium of speed and accuracy operating from the middle podium

One can now officially call Jennings the Jeopardy GOAT!, as well as $1 million richer.

Game 1

Category: It's All Greece to Me

Clue: "This area of Greece, home to Pan, is synonymous with a rural paradise; it's a setting for Virgil's shepherd poems the 'Eclogues'."

Correct response: What is Arcadia?

Game 2

Category: Shakespeare's Tragedies

Clue: "He has 272 speeches, the most of any non-title character in a Shakespeare tragedy."

Correct response: Who is Iago?