Thirty three episodes and $2,464,216 later, “Jeopardy!” phenom James Holzhauer finally met his match on Monday, losing to librarian Emma Boettcher on the popular syndicated game show. Stern Show staffer Richard Christy was watching at home and admitted to Howard both he and his wife shed a tear seeing James lose. Like many “Jeopardy!” viewers, Richard can’t help but question what went wrong for the contestant who until last night’s episode seemed to be unstoppable.
“There’s so many things that ran through my head because, it’s like, so weird that he would lose right before he beat Ken Jennings,” Richard said.
Jennings, who holds the record for longest winning streak on “Jeopardy!” at 74 episodes, won $56,484 more than James did during his impressive run. Some are saying Holzhauer lost on purpose in order to avoid busting Jennings’s record, especially considering he uncharacteristically bet so little on last night’s Final Jeopardy clue.
Richard also wondered if it all could have been a fix by unhappy producers who wanted James out for the unconventional way he plays the game. Fellow Stern Show staffer Jon Hein took it a step further, supposing “Jeopardy!” brass might have held Boettcher back from facing James until the precise moment they needed her to beat him.
“I hear a new theory every second,” Richard told Howard.
Conspiracy theories are what Wack Packer High Register Sean knows best and he too called in Tuesday with his own explanation. “Why would this guy throw the match? There’s a couple possibilities I’m working on,” he stated.
Something he’s considering is whether or not James, a professional gambler, bet on himself to lose so he could cash in on his own defeat. High Register Sean also floated the theory James is being extorted by someone who has information on him he doesn’t want to get out.
“Is it, like, physically exhausting to think that everything in life is a conspiracy?” Howard asked, not buying any of the Wack Packer’s theories. “Why not just enjoy the show?”
“You guys are fragile and you’re afraid I’m right,” Sean said over the phone.
Stern Show listeners have long heard the many other far-fetched beliefs Sean holds, like that there are “dog men” living in the woods behind his house. Shuli Egar told Howard he’ll soon be braving Sean’s backyard to see for himself if there are any dangerous creatures living within the trees. The Wack Packer has shared his photographic evidence of the dog men with Shuli in the past, though when Howard and Robin looked at one of them Tuesday morning they saw nothing but a blurry image.
Security is of the utmost importance to Sean, too, who gives Shuli a special codeword so he can be sure it’s him he’s talking to over the phone. Tuesday's, for instance, was “gargoyle.”
It wasn’t a dog man lurking in Richard’s home but he shared his own recent close encounter with a creepy creature.
“Last night a spider was crawling across my shirt,” he told Howard. Richard didn’t kill the insect, though, since he saw no harm in having it walking all over his body. “And then it just crawled, it went inside my shirt, and then I couldn’t find it,” he continued.
The spider never reemerged and now Richard can’t stop scratching the top of his head.
“It’s probably eating the other bugs that are on me, so that’s good,” he said with a laugh.