ENTERTAINMENT

Emma Boettcher Begins Her 'Jeopardy!' Reign With A Big First

Host Alex Trebek dubbed her "the giant killer" in her first match since she ended James Holzhauer's dominant run.

New “Jeopardy!” champ Emma Boettcher did what she needed to do for an encore on Tuesday: She won.

The University of Chicago librarian, fresh off her stunning defeat of 32-game winner James Holzhauer, dominated early in her first defense. She built an $11,000 lead on her nearest competitor in the Jeopardy round. Then she cruised to an earnings victory of $24,600 and a two-day total of $71,401.

Boettcher, 27, held a mathematically insurmountable lead over challengers Matthew Swanson and Liz Neal for Final Jeopardy ― as long as she bet little or nothing. She opted for the latter, a good move considering she got the question wrong.

According to The Jeopardy Fan website, Boettcher made history in her second match. She is the first contestant to topple a champion with 10 or more victories and then win the next game.

Trebek called her “a giant killer” for dethroning Holzhauer as he threatened to break Ken Jennings’ nontournament earnings record of $2.5 million, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Boettcher told Trebek she wasn’t intimidated. “I figured he’s good, but it’s all a matter of chance,” she said in the clip below. “We all took the same audition and passed together. I felt ready.”