‘Jeopardy!’ Phenom James Holzhauer Smashes Through $1 Million Mark – Smart Media Magazine

‘Jeopardy!’ Phenom James Holzhauer Smashes Through $1 Million Mark


For more than two weeks, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has been dominating “Jeopardy!” with a calculated strategy, an affinity for risk-taking and a deft buzzer hand.

The contestant, James Holzhauer, 34, surpassed $1 million in total earnings on Tuesday, becoming the second contestant to do so in “Jeopardy!” history and continuing his record-breaking streak.

Holzhauer won $118,816 in the game that aired on Tuesday, having capped off his winnings by correctly answering this Final Jeopardy clue: “On May 1, 1869, these two men met at the White House, four years and three weeks after a more historic meeting between them.” (Can you guess? The answer is at the end of this article.)

On the show’s hall of fame, which documents the highest single-game winnings, Holzhauer now claims the top seven spots. Holzhauer’s earnings of $1.06 million so far amount to less than half of the $2.52 million that the game-show legend Ken Jennings took home in 2004. But Jennings amassed that prize over 74 games, while Holzhauer took only 14 games to reach his total.

“Not everyone’s going to be able to come in with that game plan,” he added, “and fewer still will be able to execute it.”

Before Holzhauer first buzzed in on April 4, the single-game record was held by the contestant Roger Craig, who won $77,000 in a 2010 episode. Holzhauer first broke that high on April 9 when he amassed $110,914 in one game.

Last week, he even surpassed that, with a $131,127 win. He will be going for his 15th win on Wednesday. (Episodes are recorded in advance, but players are told not to publicly discuss results of games that have not aired.)

Part of how Holzhauer rakes in cash early on is by choosing the $1,000 clues toward the beginning of the game. Instead of watching his pile of cash rise incrementally with the easier $100 questions, he aims for the bottom of the board, opening up the potential to significantly increase his total if he lands on the coveted Daily Double.

Others have speculated on social media that Holzhauer’s winning streak is stretching the game show’s budget. In response to that concern, a “Jeopardy!” spokeswoman said, “Contestant winnings are budgeted for every season and James’ winnings are no different.”



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