Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions 2021: The Winner Is…

A new Jeopardy! champion has been crowned. After 10 days of fierce competition, Friday’s episode saw Minnesota-based substitute teacher Sam Kavanaugh take home the $250,000 grand prize for winning the latest Tournament of Champions.

Jennifer Quail, a wine tasting consultant from Dowagiac, Mich., finished in second place, winning $100,000, while Veronica Vichit-Vadakan, a reference and instruction librarian from Portland, Ore., netted $50,000 with her third-place win.

Jeopardy! is matching Kavanaugh’s winnings with a $250,000 donation to the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless, in honor of Alex Trebek. According to a release from the show, “the Trebek Center will assist up to 300 people per year with shelter, intensive case management, mental health services, job training and placement, substance abuse counseling, housing navigation, life skill training, and medical care.”

“It’s so wonderful that Jeopardy! is supporting [the Hope of the Valley Trebek Center for the Homeless],” Jean Trebek said of the donation. The show’s generosity continues to reflect Alex’s desire to assist underrepresented communities,” the late host’s wife Jean Trebek said in a statement.

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In addition to wrapping up the Tournament of Champions, Friday’s episode also marked the end of a 10-day hosting streak for Buzzy Cohen, who won the tournament himself back in 2017. Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik will begin her run as guest host beginning Monday, May 31.

Previous guest hosts have included former champion Ken Jennings, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, news veteran Katie Couric, TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and 60 Minutes‘ Bill Whitaker.

What did you think of this tournament, and of Cohen as its buzzy host? Weigh in via our polls below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.


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