The day before viewers were to tune in to Jeopardy! to see whether James Holzhauer beat Ken Jennings' winnings record, someone leaked the portion of the episode showing the answer to that question. "Somebody alerted us that they had seen it on YouTube. By the time we saw it, it already had 2,000 views," executive producer Harry Friedman tells the Washington Post of his Sunday afternoon. The clip quickly spread via other social media sites, leading to speculation about Jeopardy! spoilers on blogs and news websites, though producers wouldn't confirm whether the footage was legitimate. By the next morning, when the episode began airing, it became clear the leaked footage was real. Did it hurt ratings? Possibly not, as Deadline reports the show posted its highest ratings in 14 years for Monday's episode; Sports Illustrated theorizes the spoiler actually helped ratings.
Producers of the game show "think we know where and who and how" the footage was obtained, Friedman says, though he won't divulge more than that except to promise that "very, very, very appropriate" action will be taken against anyone responsible. As for the end of Holzhauer's 32-win run on the show, Friedman says it was emotional for everyone, and host Alex Trebek got choked up. Holzhauer himself was somewhat "shell shocked," Friedman says, though he immediately high-fived his opponent after her win. In other Jeopardy! news coming out Tuesday, Holzhauer explained to the Action Network why his final wager was uncharacteristically small, and other experts are offering their own explanations as well; USA Today rounds up pretty much every stat you might be curious about, including his total winnings; and the Atlantic ponders "a fundamental question" now raised about the game. (Before she beat Holzhauer, she had never heard of him.)