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.
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.”