‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Grant DeYoung Exits Show After ‘Brutal’ Mistake

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It was all going so well for Grant DeYoung as he entered Tuesday’s (May 21) Jeopardy! as a four-day champion, but his overly cautious wagering ended up brutally costing him.

The lovable grocery clerk from Prescott, Arizona, had become a fan favorite over his previous four appearances, with viewers appreciating his self-deprecating humor and openness with his emotions. Across four episodes, DeYoung had amassed $81,203 and went into Tuesday’s game looking to guarantee his spot in the next Tournament of Champions.

However, DeYoung faced tough competition from Chris D’Amico, a verifications specialist from Lakewood, Ohio, and Sam Spar, a CPA originally from Burlington, Vermont.

As with his previous games, DeYoung started fast on the buzzer, making several guesses. The Arizona native made history on Monday’s (May 20) episode for becoming the first player since the 1980s to win while giving 11 incorrect responses.

He continued with that strategy on Tuesday, answering 12 correct clues and five incorrect in the first round, giving him a slight lead of $3,800 over D’Amico’s $3,400. Spar trailed with $600.

Things became unstuck for DeYoung in the Double Jeopardy round after landing both Daily Doubles. He missed the first one, losing $4,000 of his total. But he nailed the second one, which could have secured his lead heading into Final Jeopardy. However, he only wagered $3,000 of his $9,800, which wasn’t enough for a runaway.

Jeopardy contestant Grant DeYoung

Jeopardy, Inc!

With a ninth incorrect response over the final few clues, DeYoung fell behind D’Amico, who entered Final Jeopardy with a slight lead of $12,600 to DeYoung’s $12,400. Spar trailed with $3,400.

The final clue under “The Movies” category read: “Louise & Lisa Burns, twins featured in this 1980 film, told a magazine, “we’re naturally spooky!”

All three players gave the correct response (“What is The Shining?”), and, by that point, DeYoung knew his time was up. He wagered just $399 to give him a total of $12,799, while D’Amico bet $12,500, winning the episode and becoming the new champ with $25,100.

Fans were devastated to see DeYoung lose, especially in such a brutal way, and took to social media to share their thoughts.

“I didn’t like Grant’s DD2 wager. I don’t know how much time they have to make DD wagers, but there were only 7 clues left and the numbers worked out to be easy to calculate,” wrote one viewer on the Jeopardy! Reddit forum. “$5201 would be the bet to secure the lead. If not that then bet small. His $3000 bet was too in the middle.”

“The only thing worse than losing the lead on the final clue of the game, is losing the lead on the final clue of the game being followed by one of the all time easiest Final Jeopardy clues. Bad luck for Grant,” added another.

“Brutal way to go out,” said one commenter, while another wrote, “Grant noooo :(”

“Should have bet a few hundred more on that second DD,” suggested another.

“I would be curious what he was thinking in that moment. I wonder how much time they give players to formulate their DD wagers and if they ever edit that pause out or cut it down if it runs too long,” said another commenter.

“Grant might still get into the TOC, or maybe some other secondary tourney, but to be that close to having a guaranteed slot and missing by so little would keep me up at night,” added one fan.

Five wins guarantee a contestant a spot in the TOC; however, in recent years, four and even three-game winners have made it into the tournament. So, there is a strong chance fans will see DeYoung back on the Alex Trebek Stage in the future.

What did you think of Tuesday’s episode? Should DeYoung have wagered higher? Let us know in the comments below.

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