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“Jeopardy!” champion Cris Pannullo is opening up about the end of his 21-game winning streak — and shading the contestant who beat him.

Pannullo, 38, ended his winning run last Tuesday with a winnings total of $748,000. He lost to Andy Tirrell — who ended up losing the following night.

The fan-favorite from New Jersey admitted on the “Inside Jeopardy!” podcast that he still feels “incredible” and the show is only over for him “for now.”

“Everybody loses on ‘Jeopardy!’ but very, very few people win 20 games, very few people win three quarters of a million dollars, or a half-million dollars, or a quarter of a million dollars or a hundred thousand dollars,” Pannullo told producer Sarah Whitcomb Foss. “I can’t be anything other than ecstatic even having just lost.”

Cris Pannullo
Cris Pannullo ended his 21-day streak last Tuesday with a winnings total of $748,000.
ABC/Jeopardy!
Andy Tirrell
Cris Pannullo lost his streak to Andy Tirrell (pictured) — who ended up losing the following night.
ABC/Jeopardy!

When asked about his thoughts on Tirrell — who was an alternate during the “Professors Tournament” — Pannullo seemed to throw a little shade.

“I loved his hair and his glasses,” he quipped. 

“He did have a very strong college professor look and ended up being a really strong player.”

Cris Pannullo
Cris Pannullo said that he still feels “incredible” and the show is only over for him “for now.”
ABC/Jeopardy!

“His mind was just a little more open than mine at that moment,” Pannullo added about the moment he lost to Tirrell in Final Jeopardy!

“If I had opened my mind a bit more and not gotten so pigeonholed in there I think I may have come up with it, but you can’t come up with it all,” the champ confessed.

However, Pannullo isn’t quite done with “Jeopardy!” yet.

He’ll be returning for next year’s “Tournament of Champions” — and host Ken Jennings is already saying the tournament will be “interesting” given Pannullo’s sixth-place spot on the all-time list.

Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings (pictured) is already saying the tournament will be “interesting” with Pannullo in the mix.
ABC/Jeopardy!

“It makes it a lot more optimistic for me just knowing that I’ll be back, and this isn’t the end,” the operations success manager said. “I have a lot of studying to do, and I’ll be watching ‘Jeopardy!’ moving forward, scouting my opponents.”

The victor of this year’s “Tournament of Champions” was Amy Schneider — who was the first openly transgender contestant to compete in the tournament. She won after six games and claimed the $250,000 grand prize.

Foss wanted to know what Pannullo’s favorite part of his “Jeopardy!” journey was, and Pannullo jokingly responded “the money.”

“Every day has been remarkable and just a true dream,” he conceded.

Pannullo added that he wanted his “Jeopardy!” legacy to be an “exciting” player who “bet big when it mattered and made the right decisions . . . Someone worth watching from beginning to end.”



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Tyler Cowan