By now, you likely know that James Holzhauer’s near-record setting run on Jeopardy! came to an end on the show broadcasted Monday. (If you didn’t know, apologies for the spoiler. Have you somehow been avoiding the internet and television for the past day?)
The end of the professional sports gambler’s 32-game win streak prompted him to follow up on a bet that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady proposed in mid-May. While the consecutive win streak was at 23, Brady declared on Twitter that he would do something he’d never done before if Holzhauer lost.
You might recall that Brady said in a 2016 interview with New York magazine that he had never eaten a strawberry before. Ever. “I’ve never eaten a strawberry in my life,” he told writer Dayna Evans. “I have no desire to do that.” Earlier in the year, Brady’s personal chef told the Boston Globe that the quarterback “prefers not to eat fruits.”
So as weird and low-stakes as Brady’s bet was, it was kind of a big deal. And neither Holzhauer nor the people at Jeopardy! forgot about that, both teasing Brady about paying off the wager.
No word yet on whether or not Brady is considering eating his very first strawberry. Maybe he doesn’t know that Holzhauer lost. At the very least, he’s busy with the Patriots’ minicamp beginning on Tuesday. But maybe Brady’s teammates or reporters covering the team informed him and he can sit down to watch the show at some point.
Holzhauer finally met his match in University of Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, who accumulated $46,801 to the TV and pop culture spring sensation’s $24,799. Holzhauer was only $58,485 from topping Ken Jennings’ record for the most money ever won ($2.52 million) by a Jeopardy! contestant.
Still impressive, however, is that Holzhauer racked up his total in 32 games, while Jennings won his through a 74-win streak. Holzhauer’s aggressive strategy of taking the higher-money clues first and working his way up the board, rather than down, was controversial with some Jeopardy! devotees, but the results were decisive.
The Patriots and coach Bill Belichick aren’t known for having fun with team-building activities, but maybe an exception could be made here. How about the whole team watching Holzhauer’s final episode of Jeopardy? Or if no one wants to gather for that, maybe some teammates can sit Brady down at the Gillette Stadium cafeteria with a strawberry. Better yet, maybe a bowl of them. That could make for some potentially amusing Instagram video or IGTV.
Brady could also slide on a technicality, asserting that his bet only applied to that May 20 game and once Holzhauer’s streak continued, the conditions no longer applied. That wouldn’t win Brady any fans, though he probably wouldn’t care about such a thing. We’re talking about a guy who’s never eaten a strawberry, man.