‘Jeopardy!’: This Tiebreaker on Last Night’s Episode Was an Absolute Nailbiter

by Leanne Stahulak

“Jeopardy!” crowned a new champion last night. But only after two contestants battled it out in a tiebreaker round.

It all came down to the “Final Jeopardy!” question, where Christine Whelchel led the game with $19,000. Following closely behind her was the returning champion, Henry Rozycki with $17,000.

The category was Play Characters, and the clue read, “A 1949 review noted the ‘wrong formula for success’ of this character and ‘fatal misconceptions about his place in the scheme of things.'”

Think you know the answer? All three “Jeopardy!” champions did. It was “Who is Willy Loman?” The character comes from the play “Death of a Salesman.”

Whelchel could’ve easily won the game. However, her wager was just a tiny bit off. Instead of wagering $15,001 to make sure she had more than Rozycki, she only wagered $15,000. This caused the two to go head to head in a tiebreaker match.

“We had ourselves a tiebreaker today. What a nailbiter!” the official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account posted, along with a video of the tiebreaker round.

The category was “Flowers,” and host Ken Jennings explained that the winner would be whoever buzzed in with the correct answer first. No more wagering, or having 30 seconds to formulate an answer. This would essentially be a regular “Jeopardy!” clue.

The clue in question read, “After its inclusion in a 1915 poem, this red flower became a symbol of fallen World War I soldiers.”

Immediately, Whelchel buzzed in. “What is poppy?” she answered. Turns out, she didn’t need to wager that extra dollar after all.

‘Jeopardy!’ Celebrates New Champion Christine Whelchel Being Cancer-Free

Before she won the tiebreaker round and became the new “Jeopardy!” champion, Christine Whelchel also shared some personal news on the show. The piano teacher from Spring Hills, Tennesee, is now a cancer survivor.

“Cancer-free and now on Jeopardy! Congratulations, Christine,” the show’s official Twitter account posted, along with a video of Christine explaining her journey.

“I was diagnosed in March of 2021, and one of the first things I did a couple of weeks after being diagnosed was take the ‘Jeopardy!’ test,” Whelchel explained. “And I ended up getting the audition the night before my surgery in May.”

“You auditioned the night before your surgery?” host Ken Jennings asked incredulously. “Well evidently, the audition went well, you’re here. And I hope the surgery went well too?”

“Everything else went well, and I’m cancer-free as of right now,” Whelchel confirmed.

“Congratulations! That’s great,” Jennings replied.

Whelchel clearly didn’t want to waste time thinking about “what-ifs” when she took that “Jeopardy!” test. And now, almost a year later, her episodes are airing live on TV. We can’t wait to see how far Whelchel goes in the competition.