‘Jeopardy!’ champion James Holzhauer becomes only the second player to cross $1M mark

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“Jeopardy!” contestant James Holzhauer broke the show’s single-game winning record. Then, he broke his own record a week later.
USA TODAY

James Holzhauer is unstoppable. 

On Tuesday’s episode, the savvy “Jeopardy!” contestant became only the second person in the game show’s 35-year history to earn more than $1 million in regular-season (non-tournament) play. 

Holzhauer, 34, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, won $118,816 on Tuesday’s show, and has won $1,061,554 in 14 games. He’s bested only by computer programmer-turned-author Ken Jennings, who made off with $2,520,700 over 74 games in 2004. 

Winning his 14th game, Holzhauer now places fourth on the all-time “Jeopardy!” consecutive-wins list, following Jennings (who won 74 games), Julia Collins (20) and David Madden (19). He also broke his own record for the highest single-day winnings in the show’s history, earning $131,127 in the April 17 episode. 

More: ‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek shares health update amid cancer battle: ‘I’m feeling good’

In a recent Q&A with Wired, Jennings said he is “gobsmacked” by Holzhauer’s hot streak. 

“I thought I had seen everything on ‘Jeopardy!’ And this is something I would have thought was just impossible,” Jennings said. “He’s maximizing money. He can make two or three times what any other player ever has with that same level of play, which again is top-shelf. He’s as good as anybody.”

 

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