Contestant with connection to Decatur dominates 2024 Jeopardy! Masters Tournament

In 2005, contestant David Madden was having a good time on Jeopardy!, the most watched trivia game show on TV. Madden was on a 19-day winning streak and looking to make it to 20 wins – however, a powerful force from Decatur, Georgia was destined to break that streak.

Victoria Groce, who at that time was a 24-year-old new mother and musician living in Decatur, beat Madden in that 2005 Jeopardy! game. However, her time on Jeopardy! quickly ended when she lost the following game. Sure, it was impressive that Groce knocked out an opponent who seemingly couldn’t lose, but her own loss in the very next game left her as a mostly forgotten contestant in a sea of thousands who competed before and after her.

Fast forward 19 years later to 2024 as the names of the six contestants for the Jeopardy! Masters Tournament, a special competition in which six of the highest-ranked champions compete to win $500,000 and the Alex Trebek Trophy, are announced. Fan favorites such as Amy Schnider and 2023 winner James Holzhauer were expected to make their returns, but even die-hard Jeopardy! fanatics were wondering, who is this Victoria Groce?

It didn’t take long to find out that she was going to be the force to be reckoned with in the 2024 tournament; clue after clue, Groce buzzed in and fired off correct answers, gaining points, wins and a leading position as the 10 hour-long episodes containing two half-hour games continued throughout May. At the end of one game, Holzhauer, who refers to himself as “the final boss of Jeopardy!,” bowed down to Groce after yet another defeat.

Groce went on to win the 2024 Jeopardy! Masters Tournament and while she now resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a piece of Groce’s impressive Jeopardy! story will be the first time she was ever announced on the Alex Trebek stage as “a musician from Decatur, Georgia”’


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