What we've learned about 'Jeopardy!' champ Cris Pannullo from Ocean City as he wins again and again

Cris Pannullo won his 21st game on Monday night.

6abc Digital Staff Image
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Ken Jennings gives summary of Jeopardy! champ Cris Pannullo facts
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Because Cris has been on the game show for weeks, viewers have gotten to know about him - a lot about him!

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you have been caught up in the holiday rush, you may have missed that our local "Jeopardy!" champ from Ocean City, New Jersey has been on a roll.

Cris Pannullo won his 21st game on Monday night.

Because Pannullo has been on the game show for weeks, viewers have gotten to know about him - a lot about him - thanks to his wagers, his gameplay and his talks with host Ken Jennings each episode.

Jennings gave a nice little recap about the champ before the Jeopardy! round Monday - a summary of Pannullo's Jeopardy! life so far beyond his thumbs-up:

"Our champion Cris Pannullo has been with us for a few weeks now. And what have we learned about our 20-game champ? Well, we know he's a former poker player who obviously feels comfortable with big Daily Double wagers despite, he says, not being a risktaker in everyday life.

"He has a 10-year-old pet rabbit named Lentils. His girlfriend Heather celebrates a birthday on Feb. 21 - a number he often incorporates into his Final Jeopardy! wagers.

He's the oldest of five siblings, loves the movie 'Spaceballs,' hates olives, and his 'Jeopardy!' lunch of choice? A salad with chickpeas and chicken and a banana on the side.

"The most important thing to know about Cris is that he's now a 'Jeopardy!' superchampion who has won more money in regular-season play than all but four players in 'Jeopardy!' history, and more consecutive games than all but five.

"What we don't know is how this remarkable run will come to an end."

What we do know is that Pannullo's run did not end at 20.

Going into Final Jeopardy! Pannullo had $33,200. His opponents had $12,400 and $600. It was a safe bet the Jersey Shore customer success operation manager would get another W.

The Final Jeopardy! category: Landmarks.

The clue: In 2009, during a 20th anniversary celebration, it was called "an edifice of fear. On November 9, it became a place of joy."

Pannullo's response: What is the Berlin Wall?

That was correct. Pannullo wagered $4,221, bringing his Tuesday winnings to $37,421.

His 21-day total now stands at $748,286.

Pannullo has guaranteed himself a spot in next season's Tournament of Champions.

As for those lists of "Jeopardy!" superchampions Ken Jennings spoke about, here's what the "Leaderboard of Legends" looks like:

Consecutive Games Won

1. Ken Jennings / 74 games / 2004

2. Amy Schneider / 40 games / 2022

3. Matt Amodio / 38 games / 2021

4. James Holzhauer / 32 games / 2019

5. Mattea Roach / 23 games / 2022

6. Cris Pannullo / 21 games so far / 2022

Highest Winnings (Regular-Season Play)

1. Ken Jennings / $2,520,700

2. James Holzhauer / $2,462,216

3. Matt Amodio / $1,518,601

4. Amy Schneider / $1,382,800

5. Cris Pannullo / $748,286 so far

6. Matteo Roach / $560,983

You can watch Cris Pannullo go for win 22 at 7 p.m. Tuesday on 6abc.