New Paltz man’s Jeopardy run comes to an end

Francois Barcomb does not look sad to finish third

In the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions, as in Highlander, there can be only one. Francois Barcomb, a New Paltz resident and physics teacher at Hendrick Hudson High School in Westchester County, made it all the way to the finals before falling to one of the all-time greats, James Holzhauer, who has won more than $2.7 million on the show. (The final episode aired last Friday, though the tournament was taped previously.)

Holzhauer won the $250,000 grand prize. Emma Boettcher came in second, earning $100,000, while Barcomb took third, netting $50,000 ($150,000 total including his Teachers Tournament winnings).

The Tournament of Champions finals was the second time Holzhauer and Boettcher faced off on the Jeopardy stage; their first meeting was in June 2019, when Boettcher beat Holzhauer and ended his 32-game winning streak.


“I’ve said all along that Emma is an all-time great player, and I’m proud it took that level of competitor to defeat me,” Holzhauer said. “Now the world sees that I wasn’t just making excuses. Francois certainly looked as dominant as either of us in his first two games, so I knew the finals would be a fight to the finish. But the whole point of the [Tournament of Champions] is to play the best of the best, and Emma and Francois certainly proved that they belonged in the final three.”