‘I’m So Honored To Have Lost To Steve Martin’


Jeopardy! contestants are usually pretty good losers, even after getting completely dominated by another player. One contestant took his loss gracefully—but not without cracking a joke at the winner’s expense. Of course, it was all in good humor.

Sam Buttrey Can’t Explain His ‘Buzzer Technique’

In a recent episode of the game show, Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist, and Zach Newkirk, an attorney, lost to Naval Postgraduate School professor Sam Buttrey. Buttrey gave 20 correct answers and racked up $8,000. 

At the end of the show, host Ken Jennings wondered if maybe Buttrey’s “buzzer technique” had anything to do with his impressive win. The professor shrugged it off, saying, “You just wait ‘til the lights come and do a thing. I don’t know.”

‘I’m So Honored To Have Lost To Steve Martin’

Jennings then moved on to the other contestants, asking Newkirk how he felt about losing to Buttrey. “It was very impressive,” he admitted. “I’m so honored to have lost to Steve Martin—oh, um, Sam.”

RELATED: Why Ken Jennings Thinks ‘Jeopardy!’ Is So Important In These Politically Polarized Times

The audience and other contestants cracked up at the attorney’s joke about Stephens’ celebrity doppelganger; he and the comedian both have a head of white hair and wireframe glasses. “It never gets old,” Newkirk laughed. Jennings responded, “Sam must love it, too.” Buttrey nodded, still smiling at the younger contestant’s joke. 

Buttrey also praised Newkirk and Stephens online. He tweeted, “What a fun time on Jeopardy! with @jessmstephens and @zjanewkirk ! Somehow I got in sync with the buzzer, but even so, Zach was one clue away. I may have distracted Jessica with some seriously legit dance moves, but she definitely proved she belonged in the ToC.”

Who Will Win The Tournament Of Champions?

Sam Buttrey’s big win didn’t just mean bragging rights over Newkirk and Stephens. The professor moved to the semi-final round of the 2022 Tournament of Champions, competing against John Focht and Matt Amodio. He won a decisive victory, advancing to the Tournament of Champions finals with an impressive total of $33,601. Focht finished second with $24,000, while Amodio took a surprising third place with $16,800.

Amodio, Amy Schneider, and Mattea Roach won the most games in season 38 and advanced directly to the semi-finals. It doesn’t seem like that provided any sort of advantage, as Roach was also defeated in her semi-final round. Buttrey and Andrew He are set to compete in the finals.

Competition is sure to be fierce, especially with contestants this talented. Let’s hope those who don’t make the podium face defeat as cheerfully as Newkirk and Stephens.  

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