James Holzhauer has affectionately earned the nickname “Jeopardy James” recently because in just a couple short months, he’s undoubtedly become the most famous contestant the popular game show has had in its nearly four decades on television.
How did he get there? Holzhauer achieved national infamy by obliterating the competition and setting nearly every record the show has ever had.
But James Holzhauer was just delivered a shocking surprise on Monday’s episode of “Jeopardy!”
It’s without a doubt the most impressive run by any contestant on any game show of all time that’s reminiscent of the 1994 Best Picture contender, Robert Redford’s “Quiz Show,” which is a classic case of how life imitates art.
In his first week, Holzhauer became the first player to win more than $100,000 in a single episode with $110,914. But it didn’t take long for him to break his own record because on April 17th, Holzhauer won $131,127, topping his own one-day record of $110,914 he set earlier in his run. The previous single-day record-holder was Roger Craig, who won $77,000 in a 2010 game.
James Holzhauer is so good and unbeatable that some diehard “Jeopardy!” fans found the show nearly unwatchable.
And on Monday, he was right on the heels of overtaking the biggest record set by 2004 contestant Ken Jennings when he went on a 74-game winning streak with a total earnings of $2,520,700, but all good things must come to an end.
He entered that night’s Final “Jeopardy!” round trailing Boettcher by about $3,000. To win, Holzhauer needed his opponent to answer incorrectly. However, Emma Boettcher successfully answered the question about 16th-century English playwright Christopher “Kit” Marlowe and dethroned the 32-day champion.
He said, “I did expect to do pretty well when I was on the show, but I thought maybe I could win maybe six, seven episodes; certainly not 32, and certainly not this level of money. I think the amount of attention it’s gotten has surprised me.”
There’s nothing really surprising about achieving that level of fame because Jeopardy James seemingly knows everything. It was must-see-television for the last several months.
He also noted, “I think among the people who know me best I’ll go back to being James or Uncle Jamie to my nephews and nieces, but I think there will always be a segment of the population who doesn’t forget about this.”
But most diehard “Jeopardy!” fans will never forget Jeopardy James’ extraordinary streak and will likely call him that for the rest of his life. We truly have never seen someone like Jeopardy James in the entire history of American game shows.
Holzhauer added that he’s content with ending his streak at the hands of someone like Boettcher, a librarian at the University of Chicago.
Jeopardy James said, “If I had to go out, I wanted to go out against a top player who beat me in a straight up contest.” And by all accounts it was a fair fight. No question about it.
It should surprise no one if Boettcher also goes on a streak as well.