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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Miriam Di Nunzio

Is Rhone Talsma still the ‘Jeopardy!’ champ?

Chicago Ridge librarian Rhone Talsma competes on “Jeopardy!” | Jeopardy Productions

What’s in a name?

If it’s “18th century Names” on “Jeopardy!,” it could mean the difference between being the champion or going home.

Spoilers ahead.

For returning champ, Chicago Ridge librarian Rhone Talsma, who on Wednesday defeated 40-game reigning champion Amy Schneider, that Final Jeopardy category proved to be his downfall on Thursday’s episode of the popular game show.

Going into the final round, Rhone and fellow contestants Chris Canahui, a technician from Brooklyn, New York, and Carrie Cadwallader, a business intelligence manager from Aurora, Colorado, were within monetary striking distance of one another.

The Final Jeopardy clue was: “In 1793, he left Dublin for the United States, saying “I expect to make a fortune” off George Washington, & he did.”

The correct answer was artist Gilbert Stuart, whose work, among his many paintings of the first U.S. president, includes the “unfinished” portrait of Washington on the dollar bill.

Talsma bid all of his $9,200 but had the incorrect answer. Canahui, who was tied with Talsma going into the final round, bid all but $1 and wrote no answer. That left Cadwallader, who also failed to come up with the correct answer, but bid only $5,500 of her $13,000, making her the new champion with $7,500 in total winnings for the day.

In an interview with the Sun-Times on Wednesday, Talsma said competing on “Jeopardy!’ was “living out his dream come true.”

In 2019, University of Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher ended the 32-game winning streak of Naperville native James Holzhauer. Her reign as champion came to an end after three games.

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