'Jeopardy!' contestant Sean Holloway reveals how opponent Cris Pannullo made him 'afraid of him'

'Jeopardy!' contestant Sean Holloway reveals how opponent Cris Pannullo made him 'afraid of him'
Sean Holloway claimed that Cris Pannullo used to sit seperately from other contestants (Screenshot from ThePCGamerFan9823/YouTube)

'Jeopardy!' contestant Sean Holloway took on Cris Pannullo, the reigning champion who showed no signs of slowing down. However, Pannullo made Holloway "afraid of him" before their face off. Holloway, a software engineer from Kansas City, earned a handsome $7,000 on the episode on Tuesday October 4. He had faced Jacqueline Liao, an engineer from Pittsburgh.

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Pannullo, a customer success operations manager from Ocean City, New Jersey, won against Holloway, and kept winning, raking in a total of $221,000 and seven victories. He had revealed his earlier professional poker career.

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Holloway told The US Sun, "By the time we got to rehearsal I think we [the other contestants] knew he was returning champion." He added, "He was very nice, very polite but he did sit separately from everyone else. He was quiet and it was hard to get a read on him." Holloway, Liao and Pannullo were brought to the 'Wheel of Fortune' set right next door, before their rehearsal and show.

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Speaking about Pannullo, Holloway revealed that the champion did not speak to his competitors. He said, "He just sort of was off on his own, across from our section of seating, at the other end of that section of seating. I dont mean to paint him as distancing himself, I think he just was in the zone, as a lot of us were." He added, "He was so fast, it was crazy, there were maybe 20 questions that I buzzed in on that he beat me to it."

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Pannullo also adopted a specific stance in order to gain an advantage. Holloway said, "There's a specific stance with the arms crossed - the Secrets of the Buzzer book James used - both Jacqueline and Cris had the stance." Pannullo currently buzzes in on 63% of all clues and has an accuracy of 94%.

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Holloway agreed that the game’s Final Jeopardy was too difficult to be answered in 30 seconds. It read, "Like the T-U-V in Tuvalu, this landlocked country has 3 consecutive letters in its English name in alphabetic sequence."

Pannullo and Holloway were unable to figure out what the answer was in such a short span of time. Liao wrote "Mongolia", Holloway wrote "Kyrgyz" and Pannullo "Tajikistan."  The correct response was "Afghanistan" the host explained as the 'f-g-h' were alphabetically chronological.

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In response, a Redditor said, "I'm sorry. If at least one person can't get Final Jeopardy the question is too esoteric." Another added, "Yeah, this is one that's super easy if you have a minute or two, but very difficult to figure out in 30 seconds."

Holloway said, "I do think it might have been a little too hard, unless it comes to you immediately it is iterating over two lists. You have to go through each country and then go through their letters it is a really tough one."


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