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Deb Bilodeau Wins Jeopardy! Champions Wildcard Season 39 Group Two

The road to this year’s Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions has officially come to an end with Deb Bilodeau winning Champions Wildcard Season 39 Group Two on Thursday and securing the final spot in the upcoming tournament, which begins Friday, February 23.

“I did not expect this coming in at all,” Deb said of winning Champions Wildcard. “I just wanted to have some fun.”

Despite coming up short in Game Two of the finals on Thursday against Jesse Matheny and Mira Hayward, Deb, a restaurant server from San Francisco, still walked away from their contestant podium victorious thanks to the $21,600 they amassed in Game One of the finals on Wednesday.

As in Game One of the finals, Thursday’s game came down to Final Jeopardy! Though Jesse was leading with $20,400 going into the round, none of the contestants were able to come up with the correct response to the final clue about vacationing in Italy. In the end, Deb placed first with a two-day final score of $21,600, while Jesse took second with $3,400 and Mira finished in third with $2,800.  

With their Champions Wildcard win, Deb has not only won $100,000, but they have also gained entry into the upcoming Tournament of Champions, which features the largest field of top players in ToC’s history.

“Honestly, I’m super stoked to play Jeopardy! again,” Deb said of qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. “But also, [I am] a little stress[ed] and a little triggered.”

While Deb said they have “lots to live up to in the Bay Area,” a nod to Amy Schneider, the 40-game super-champ who won the last Tournament of Champions in 2022, they also said they are looking forward to meeting and playing against their fellow champions in this year’s tournament.

“I feel like we have a really nice community and I’m grateful to everyone,” Deb said. “So, shout out to all of y'all. Whoop whoop.”