‘Jeopardy!’: 7-Day Winner Courtney Shah Speaks Out After 7-Day Streak Snapped

by Leanne Stahulak

“Jeopardy!” champion Courtney Shah’s spectacular 7-day run came to a crashing halt in last night’s July 7 episode. The community college instructor took to Twitter early this morning to thank everyone for their encouragement and support of her success.

“Thanks to all of you for the wonderful outpouring of support these past days. Hat tip to Nikole for her tremendous performance and clutch responses. I had the time of my life,” Shah wrote.

Going into the “Final Jeopardy!” round, Shah sat in third place behind newcomers Nikole Villanueva and Keshav Shah (no relation to Courtney). She also wagered only $800 on the final question about “Rock Bands,” which read, “In 2017 this band whose singer goes by a nickname became the first to have No. 1 albums in the U.S. in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.” 

Both Shah and Villanueva answered correctly, writing, “What is U2?” But Villanueva went into the round with $11,800 and wagered $11,500 to nearly double her earnings. Shah’s final tally of $7,000 wasn’t enough to clinch the victory.

While the”Jeopardy!” champ directly applauded Villanueva’s victory in her first tweet, she followed up with another to extend her appreciation to everyone.

“And a huge shout out to all the fellow contestants this week and last, and to the wonderful crew and production staff at J! Everybody was incredible to work with, even for a skittery historian like me,” the Portland, Oregon, native said.

Several fans congratulated Shah on her “Jeopardy!” run and future appearance in the Tournament of Champions. One fellow community college instructor wrote, “You are a great representative of all the great teaching and learning going on at community colleges everywhere. Best of everything to you in the future.”

What Are 7-Day “Jeopardy!” Champ Courtney Shah’s Next Steps?

Despite her loss, Shah managed to come away with $118,558 in hand and a spot in the upcoming Tournament of Champions. “Jeopardy!” contestants only make it into the tournament if they’re eligible (by winning at least four consecutive games) and receive an official invitation to compete, according to the Tournament of Champions Tracker.

Only four contestants currently hold a spot on the tracker list, including Shah. The other three include fellow seven-time winner Brian Chang, six-time champion Zach Newkirk, and four-time winner John Focht. Chang has racked up the most winnings so far with a whopping $164, 904.

Shah’s already accepted the new task ahead of her: preparing mentally and emotionally for the epic tournament. She recently updated her Twitter bio to reflect the change in mentality, deleting her author credits for the two textbooks she wrote.

“The Jeopardy! champion for lady nerds everywhere,” Shah’s new Twitter bio reads. The title suits her, self-proclaimed nerd that she is.