'Jeopardy!' champ James Holzhauer's tweet has fans debating if he lost on purpose

One of Holzhauer's tweets on Saturday reignited an ongoing conspiracy rumor.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

Anyone who watched James Holzhauer utterly dominate "Jeopardy!" over an incredible 32-game winning streak knows that the professional sports gambler likes to play games.

James Holzhauer won nearly $2.5 million on his 32-day run on "Jeopardy!."AP

But after posting a recent tweet that reopened a conspiracy theory discussion among fans over how he lost on the show, he fired back to let everyone know he's not playing around.

On Saturday, Holzhauer wrote on Twitter, "I hope to be as brave as Andrew Luck one day. Imagine reaching the pinnacle of the only job you've ever trained for, finding no joy in it, and having the guts to do the right thing for yourself even though millions of fans will hate you for it."

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Luck, the 29-year-old Indianapolis Colts quarterback, revealed over the weekend that he would retire from the NFL after seven seasons due to repeated injuries.

But fans had a hard time not reading into that tweet, assuming the "Jeopardy!" champ was referring to himself, and his departure from the game show.

Holzhauer picked up $2,462,216 during his record-breaking run and was eventually defeated by Emma Boettcher. His winnings were just $58,484 behind Jennings' regular-season highest winnings record, an amount the big-betting Holzhauer could have easily topped after one more show.

By the time his streak ended, Holzhauer had set several records, but fell short of becoming the top "Jeopardy!" champ ever.

Indeed, his exit seemed sudden. Many longtime champs begin to flag after an extended run on the show but Holzhauer just seemed to stop one day, unable to recover his momentum. When he lost in June, some fans wondered if he'd actually thrown in the towel on purpose.

TODAY's Craig Melvin even noted, "I think he might have thrown it. For the record, I'm not the only one who thought a professional gambler might have thrown it."

"I knew I could only win if Emma missed Final Jeopardy, as there was no way she wouldn't bet to cover my all-in bet," Holzhauer told The Action Network after his loss. "So my only concern was getting overtaken by third place, and I bet just enough to make sure of locking him out. Betting big would have looked good for the cameras, but now I turn my straight bet (Emma misses) into a parlay (Emma misses and I get it right)."

Saturday's tweet started up the conversation again — but Holzhauer sent off a second tweet Monday that aimed right at the naysayers, writing, "New game: imagine you pulled off the most dominant upset in @Jeopardy history and people won’t shut up about how the 32x champ must have let you win. #JeopardyEmma"

And for the record, he was a good sport with Boettcher at the time, proving all along he's a gentleman (as well as a gambler), tweeting, "CONGRATULATIONS to Emma on a world-beating performance. There's no greater honor than knowing an opponent had to play a perfect game to defeat me."

We just bet Holzhauer knows exactly what he's doing, whether playing "Jeopardy!" or the game of Twitter.