Ben Ingram’s long run on Jeopardy! finally came to an end Thursday, but he’ll still go down as one of the long–running quiz show’s greatest champions.
Ingram, 30, a Florence native with degrees from Wofford College and the University of South Carolina, finished Thursday’s contest in third place.
His $1,000 consolation prize brought his total winnings to $177,534, good for ninth all-time, according to the Jeopardy! website.
Officials have confirmed that Ingram’s streak of eight consecutive wins was tied for fifth-best all-time.
The Charlotte IT consultant who now lives at Lake Wylie filmed his appearances on the show in late March, but was sworn to secrecy on how he did.
Now, nearly two weeks after his Jeopardy! run began, Ingram is finally free to tell all.
After Thursday’s show, Ingram said he felt as though a weight had been lifted.
Even though he knew he would lose, Ingram said he tuned in to watch the match, which he said was his favorite of his nearly two-week run.
“That was a really good game,” Ingram said. “That was amazing.”
Ingram held the lead after the first round and, at one point in the second round, the three contestants were separated by less than $2,000.
He entered Final Jeopardy! in third place, and his answer “What is the 1812 Overture?” was correct, but Ingram wasn’t able to close the ground between him and his competitors.
The clue was “This piece that premiered in Moscow in 1882 includes strains from “God Save the Czar” and “La Marseillaise.”
Wofford College alumni who gathered to watch the performance at Hickory Tavern in Spartanburg said they were proud of Ingram.
One group of alumni said Ingram’s long run brought the school together.
Debbie Thompson, Wofford’s alumni director, said the Wofford name has exploded on social media and across the nation thanks to Ingram’s success on the popular quiz show, which officials said averages 25 million viewers each week. “It’s been unbelievable,” Thompson said.
Ingram’s Jeopardy! run became must-see television for Wofford College faculty and alumni.
Viewing parties were also held in Ingram’s hometown of Florence, and even Gov. Nikki Haley weighed in on Ingram’s performance.
Last week, after Ingram’s first five victories were aired, Haley said on social media that South Carolina “has another reason to smile.”
“Congrats Ben … you’ve made your state so proud!” Haley said.
Ingram said he never cared about his monetary earnings. “I came on there just wanting to win one game,” he said.