Arthur Chu, whose unorthodox style-of-play rattled the "Jeopardy!" establishment, lost after a 12-day run on the series.
"It's been an amazing run," Chu told the Plain-Dealer after his third-place finish on Wednesday.
Chu wagered all his money ($6,400) during Wednesday's Final Jeopardy round, and lost to Diana Peloquin of Ann Arbor, Mich.
"Thanks for all the love guys. Hard to be hurt by a loss I've known was coming since Nov but seeing others react makes it real again," he tweeted Wednesday.
"Just have to console myself with being a guest on #GoodMorningAmerica and #LiveWithKellyAndMichael and almost $300,000."
Chu, a self-described "mad genius," gained notoriety for his controversial game strategy.
Unlike most contestants, who stick with clues in one particular category before moving on to another, Chu liked to pick random clues from all over the board.