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Victoria Groce Wins the First-Ever Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament

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Victoria Groce is the official winner of the first-ever Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament!

Victoria, a writer and television personality, became the first player to notch two wins in the finals on Tuesday when she defeated 40-game super-champ Amy Schnieder and five-game champion Andrew He.

For the first half of Tuesday’s final, Victoria and Amy battled it out for the lead while Andrew coasted in third place.

At the start of Double Jeopardy!, Victoria held a $1,600 lead over Amy, who was in second with $4,200, while Andrew was in third with $3,200. The game took a definitive shift when Amy’s score dropped to 0 after she was unable to come up with the correct response to the first Daily Double of the round. 

Though Victoria also fell short on the last Daily Double of the game, she maintained her lead and headed into Final Jeopardy! as the front-runner with a score of $11,400. Andrew trailed behind her in second place with a score of $10,000, and Amy sat in third place with $7,200.

In the end, all three players provided the correct Final Jeopardy! response, but Victoria claimed the game and the title with a score of $20,001.

“They were very hard-fought games in the finals,” Victoria said on a special post-tournament episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast when discussing playing Amy and Andrew. “I never took anything for granted against the two of them. They are just too good.” 

Victoria put on an impressive performance in Game Two of the finals on Monday. She won the game with a score of $52,001 after picking up a clutch Daily Double during Double Jeopardy! and responding correctly to the Final Jeopardy! clue. Amy took second place with a score of $37,601 and Andrew finished in third with a score of $8,600.

In an epic battle until the end, Amy notched the first win in the finals on Friday. Victoria was the clear front-runner throughout the game, but after Amy picked up the last clue in the Double Jeopardy! round and provided the only correct response in Final Jeopardy!, the 40-game super-champion won the game by $801. Victoria finished in second with a score of $29,199 and Andrew took third place with a score of $9,600.

“I knew from having seen her before in the past that she is a competitor,” Victoria said of Amy. “But it really feels like when she needs to get answers to stay in contention she digs deep."

While many of the Jeopardy! Invitational Tournament players earned several wins during their initial runs, Victoria entered the field as a one-game champion who defeated super-champion David Madden during Season 22.

“I hoped that I knew as many facts as anybody else,” Victoria said. “I knew that everybody else had a lot more experience on this stage and also a whole lot more hours on the buzzer than I did.”

Early in the tournament, Victoria proved to be a formidable player who was not afraid to take risks. During her quarterfinal game, she put up an impressive 53 attempts on the buzzer and earned 28 correct responses.

“That game felt very tense with everybody else finding the Daily Doubles,” Victoria said. “I felt like I was buzzing well, but it also felt like I was never really able to open up a lead.”

Victoria also shined during her semifinal when she took down Professors Tournament champion Sam Buttrey and 13-game super-champion Matt Jackson with a score of $32,001.

“Matt was one of the people I was most worried about because with him being so experienced in academic bowl…he would be competing for all the stuff I might be hoping to have solo buzzes on,” Victoria said. “And then, of course, Sam is Sam. He has so much experience [and] he stays so calm while he’s playing.”

With her tourney victory, Victoria has won not only the $100,000 grand prize but also a coveted spot in Jeopardy! Masters 2024. To prepare for her return to the Alex Trebek Stage, Victoria said she plans to focus mostly on wordplay. 

“The buzzer is going to be what the buzzer is,” Victoria said. “I think trying to increase my facility with the wordplay is probably the biggest thing I can do to up my chances.”