The 46-year-old quizmaster lost out with just seconds to spare in the final chase, awarding two contestants with £46,000.
Hartlepool-based Jason, a 35-year-old customer service advisor for a water company, and 47-year-old Emma, a revenues manager from Newport, split the winnings leaving Paul in anger.
With five opportunities to push back, and with four perfectly executed, host Bradley Walsh said: "What about that? 23 each! Take the money, split it evenly, big smiles all round."
Paul stood up and almost stormed off the set, before collecting his composure to say: "Thoroughly deserved it. I'm afraid to say that pressure got to me and my time management was all wrong, it allowed me to make errors."
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I'm afraid to say that pressure got to me and my time management was all wrong, it allowed me to make errors.
Shocked, 56-year-old Bradley Walsh looked down the camera lens to say: "Yes, while you're at home eating your fish fingers, that's right, £46,000!"
However, some fans have suggested that time was deliberately pushed back to allow the hopefuls to collect the huge amount.
One sceptical viewer tweeted: "The chaser clearly threw that game on purpose. Answering questions so damn slowly. This happens quite a lot on the chase #fix #TheChase."
"Hmmmmm call me a sceptic but that final chase had a whiff of a 'fix' about it #TheChase," said another.
A third simply said: "Absolute scenes tonight. Thought you had them then Paul you f**ked up Paul #TheChase."
The Chase: Emma and Jason win £46,000
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Other fans were not so cynical and praised the pair for winning the gameshow.
One viewer posted: "That dentine answer with 3 seconds to go on a pushback is some of the best Chasing I've seen. Take a bow Jason #TheChase."
"Jason deserves it for getting the 40k, Emma deserves it for answering most of the questions in the final chase #TheChase #gangofchase," posted another.
A third noted: "I thought Paul was going was going to do a Mark there and storm off set. #TheChase."