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The ‘Jeopardy!’ clue that brought down this 21-game champ

After 21 wins, Cris Pannullo’s run on ‘Jeopardy!’ has come to an end

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Cris Pannullo is the latest super champion on “Jeopardy!”

Cris Pannullo is the latest super champion on “Jeopardy!”

Jeopardy Productions Inc.

After 21 wins, Cris Pannullo’s run on “Jeopardy!” has come to an end.


Who is Cris Pannullo on ‘Jeopardy!’?

Pannullo, the latest “Jeopardy!” super champ, lost during his 22nd game that aired on Dec. 6.

He now ranks No. 6 on the show’s Leaderboard of Legends for most consecutive games won, surpassing 20-game champ Julia Collins. He also ranks No. 5 for highest winnings in regular-season play, surpassing 23-game champ Mattea Roach with $700,000-plus winnings.

Even as he rose through the show’s rankings, Pannullo, who is from Ocean City, New Jersey, said he didn’t feel too much pressure throughout his run.

“I think it probably affects my opponents more to hear they’re going against someone with a big streak because to me, it’s basically the same thing every time,” he recently told “Jeopardy!

Tuesday’s game was tighter than most for Pannullo, who was only ahead by $700 going into the Final Jeopardy round — by comparison, Pannullo had a $20,000-plus lead going into the Final Jeopardy round of Monday’s game, according to the website TheJeopardyFan.com.

It all came down to the following Final Jeopardy clue: “A 1609 story in which an exiled king of Bulgaria creates a sea palace with his magic may have inspired the plot of this play.”

Only one contestant, Andy Tirrell, came up with the correct answer: “The Tempest.”

Pannullo ended up placing third, and Tirrell, a political science professor from San Diego, became the show’s newest champion.

But this isn’t the last “Jeopardy!” fans will see of Pannullo. The 21-game champion — who drew a lot of comparisons to “Jeopardy!” great James Holzhauer for going straight to the highest-valued clues and making large wagers — has secured a spot in the next “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions, per TV Insider. This year’s tournament, honoring champions from Season 38, concluded in November, with 40-game champion Amy Schneider taking the victory in a thrilling six-game finals, the Deseret News reported.

“Jeopardy!” also isn’t Pannullo’s first brush with TV game shows — he appeared on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in 2018, TV Insider reported. Unlike “Jeopardy!” though, his winnings on that show stopped at $5,000.


‘Jeopardy!’ clues Cris Pannullo has missed

Aside from the Final Jeopardy clue during Tuesday’s game, Pannullo missed the following seven Final Jeopardy clues, per statistics provided on TheJeopardyFan.com:

(Answers are provided at the bottom of the article.)

  • Before they were authors: “While working for British naval intelligence during World War II, he was code-named 17F.”
  • Asian country names: “Like the T-U-V in Tuvalu, this landlocked country has three consecutive letters in its English name in alphabetic sequence.”
  • Travel: “The 1948 edition of this publication said, ‘There will be a day ... in the near future when this guide will not have to be published.”
  • Authors: “Featuring a statue of a man escaping his grave, his tomb in Amiens contrasts with the title of his 1864 adventure novel.”
  • Musical theater: “The pair at the center of tumult in this long-running show were originally to be a Jewish girl and a Catholic boy.”
  • Children’s authors: “Reversing the story of this heroine she created, Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie but spent much of her life in New England.”
  • Flags of our hemisphere: “The stars on this country’s flag represent states, 26 of them; unlike the USA’s, its ‘federal district’ gets its own 27th star.”

(Answers: Ian Fleming; Afghanistan; Green Book; Jules Vernes; “West Side Story”; Sarah Wheaton from “Sarah, Plain and Tall”; Brazil)