DANGER! Champion Troy Meyer won his 5th match on Wednesday with a combined cool of $170,000 after getting a serious run for his money.
Host Ken Jennings, 48, admitted the rising star had “frightened” viewers as the game was nearly over in the final round.
The returning champ took on David Maes, an attorney from Chicago, Illinois, and Kristina Zimmerman, youth program coordinator from Seattle, Washington.
Troy is a music executive from Tampa, Florida who has Jeopardy! fans have been buzzing since the graceful game show keeps winning.
All four of his previous wins were “Runaways”, meaning he had enough money by Final Jeopardy not to get caught.
Tonight that was not the case and the uncertain victory was one for the books.
“IT ALL DEPENDS ON TROY”
In Double Jeopardy!, rival David shoved a Daily Double, got it right, and in the end things were close.
Troy had $18,400, David $16,400 and Kristina $9,200.
Final Jeopardy under “Landmarks” said: “Pskov and Nizhny Novgorod are 2 of the cities that have a fortress called this.”
Everyone was right with “The Kremlin,” so it all came down to who bet what.
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David bet $2001 and for a while he had $1 more than Troy.
“You’re leading our champion,” Ken announced as Kristina made a big face in the middle of them.
Ken turned to the current champion and said, “It all depends on Troy’s answer. Is it ‘Kremlin?'”
“Oh, it is!” said Ken to his relieved sound – Troy added a whopping $14,401 to win with $32,801 and broke into a huge smile.
“Troy survived a scare!” Ken concluded as fans on Reddit went wild over the defining moment.
‘EDGE OF MY SEAT!’
“Congratulations to David on a tough game that kept me on the edge of my seat!” we wrote.
“And of course to Troy for securing his place in the Tournament of Champions and showing that the high expectations of him were completely justified.”
Another fan cheered, “That was an extremely strong group of 3. Great game.”
A third wrote: “Incredible setback from David and Kristina! It could have easily been a different result. Troy was definitely a fighter today.”
A fourth noticed that Troy’s fifth big score puts him in winning company.
They claimed: “Yesterday Troy was following Amy [Schneider]4-day total (137,600 vs. Amy’s 155,600).
Now Troy’s 5-day total is 170,401 to Amy’s 170,400, so Troy is ahead.”
ALL ABOUT TROY
Troy’s emotional wins see him staring above tears for the sweetest reason.
As Ken revealed, Troy’s mother passed away last year and they “shared a great love” for watching Jeopardy! together.
As Troy revealed on stage, his wife Genevieve was a contestant in 2009 and they met anonymously online when she was training to compete.
Troy told the New York Times in their 2010 wedding announcement, “I talked to some friends, and they thought I was totally bonkers.”
They stayed in touch while she got ready, but Troy didn’t know what she looked like until her episode aired.
Troy told The New York Times that before that, “I thought she was 55.”
They finally met in person after her competition: “In the first 24 hours, we just wanted to be together,” Genevieve told The New York Times. They now share a 10-year-old son.
Troy – who some fans said looked like Bill Hader – was also complimented by Lady Gaga, recanting in his debut episode.
When he met her backstage after a concert, she said to him, “you have style!”
“I was wearing, like, a cardigan and shorts,” he said. “But, like, she noticed it, and I’ve been going at it ever since!”
SECRET TRIVIA STAR
Troy may be new to Jeopardy! but he is no stranger to the world of quizzes.
He’s a four-time slot champion, invitation-only Learned League, trivia club with over 25,000 members, and Jeopardy!-like questions.
It’s no small feat to “win the scarf”, the prize awarded four times to the champion of the Secret League.
Lots of danger! the champions are, or secretly were, members, including host Ken, according to The New Yorker — he had to quit for obvious reasons.
Troy also humbly revealed that he was part of what is technically the “best quiz team in the world last year” in a post-credits scene.
He teamed up with Brandon Blackwell and Victoria Groce of The Chase and won the global Online Quiz League competition.
Brandon and another fellow Chaser have been in the audience for his games, and he definitely makes them proud.
Troy is now the fifth contestant to qualify for next year’s Tournament of Champions, although viewers don’t think he’ll be heading home to prepare anytime soon.
The others are fan favorite Ray Lalonde with 13 wins, former poker ace Cris Pannullo with 21 wins, five-day champion Luigi de Guzman and four-day champion and priest David Sibley.