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‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Convinced Ken Jennings Jinxed Champ After 21 Straight Wins

by Joe Rutland
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(Raymond Liu/ABC via Getty Images)

Some Jeopardy! fans are all up in arms about Ken Jennings having some type of role in jinxing champ Cris Pannullo. See, Pannullo lost last Tuesday after 21 straight wins. He amassed $748,000 in winnings, too. But these fans are pretty dang sure that Jennings had a role in “jinxing” Pannullo from winning anymore. Jennings was “implying Cris was winning because of Daily Doubles.” He was until his luck ran out on the famed game show.

Pannullo squared off against Andy Tirrell, a political science and international relations professor from San Diego, California, and Meghan Mello, an athletic trainer from Rhode Island. Jennings opened up Jeopardy! with a monologue that proved to be cryptic at best. “Our champion Cris Pannullo started the week with his 17th runaway game [where he had an uncatchable lead by Final Jeopardy],” Jennings said. “Due in large part to him finding and responding correctly to all three ‘Daily Doubles.’ He certainly seems to have a knack for seeking them out.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Keep Track Of Cris Pannullo’s Winning Ways

Jennings continued his talk, pointing in Pannullo’s direction. “All told, in his 21-game streak, Cris has found 48 of the 63 Daily Doubles available, and they account for almost $175,000 of his winnings. Will he find some today or will the Daily Double Gods smile upon Andy or Meghan?” Jennings said before the show started. Pannullo smiled nervously, The Sun reports.

In case you didn’t know, Jeopardy! Daily Doubles are three randomly placed clues on the board. A player can choose how much money to put on the line from their earnings. But the Daily Double proved to be elusive for Pannuillo. He was in the lead but landed on a Daily Double clue: “Blood, sweat, and tears all contain this metallic element, the 6th most abundant in the Earth’s crust” “What is iron” Pannullo said, wagering $6,600 to widen his lead. “No I’m sorry, sodium,” Jennings replied. It pushed Pannullo to second place. “Sodium, of course, is in sweat and tears.” Tirrell won $15,399.

Pannullo proved to be a good sport. He gave the winner a fist bump and applauded as Tirrell appeared to be astonished at having beaten him. Here come the fans, though, with their comments. One said on Facebook: “Ken jinxed the game when talking about all the Daily Doubles Cris had gotten so far.” Another fan defended the playing fast-and-loose style: “Cris gambled every night on those Daily Doubles, I knew the odds would catch up with him sooner or later.” A third fan chimed in and said, “Ken Jennings harped on Cris’s Daily Double finds to make him sound lucky, not skillful, or brilliant. Ken sounded jealous and competitive. I think he’s a mean host. Loved Cris Pannullo. So sorry to see him go.”

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