What’s the worst way to end a winning streak?
Chris Panula learned that the hard way on Tuesday’s episode of Jeopardy!, when a wrong answer on Final Jeopardy doomed the Ocean City man after 21 wins and $710,865 in total winnings.
Panulala entered the final event with $12,600, a narrow margin over his nearest competitor, San Diego professor Andy Tyrrell, who had $11,900.
A South Jersey man made a big bet on Final Jeopardy, betting $11,201.
But he stumbled on this clue: “A 1609 story in which the exiled king of Bulgaria creates a sea palace with his magic may have inspired the plot of this play.”
Pannulo mistakenly guessed that it was the play “The Little Mermaid”.
Tyrrell correctly recognized the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare. He finished the game with $15,399 in winnings.
Pannulo, the customer success manager, reacted to his loss with a disappointed shake of his head. He then applauded his competitors and shared a fist bump with Tyrell.
Pannullo is expected to return to the annual Jeopardy Tournament of Champions! It ranks fifth among Jeopardy! contestants with the highest winnings in the regular season.
“Since his streak began on Sept. 30, an incredible 80 percent, or 16 of Chris’ 20 wins, have ended in a run,” according to a summary posted on the game show’s website Monday.
But it was also noted that “several close games show that this super champion is not completely invincible.”
Jim Walsh is a senior reporter for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal.