“Jeopardy!” made national headline news this year like never before in the four consistent decades it has aired. At the beginning of the year, host Alex Trebek revealed he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and then months later he said it was in remission. But recently Trebek claimed it had come back.
Jeopardy James Holzhauer took the nation by storm with his unprecedented record-breaking run before being upset on his 32nd show falling just short of Ken Jennings all-time money record.
And “Jeopardy!” just wrapped up the “Tournament of Champions” where Holzhauer took home the crown, but one of America’s most popular game shows is about to put on a groundbreaking event.
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.
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.
He was well on his way to beating Ken Jennings all-time money earning record in about half the time – overtaking the biggest record set by 2004 contestant Ken Jennings when he went on a 74-game winning streak, but Holzhauer came just $51,000 short before he lost in his 32nd consecutive game.
Guess who won the popular game show’s “Tournament of Champions?” Yes, it was none other than Jeopardy James, which really reinforces the idea that his loss on the 32nd time was a fluke.
Now, “Jeopardy!” is planning to shake it up a little bit by holding the primetime “Greatest of All Time Tournament” that will air in January on ABC.
The three biggest winners in “Jeopardy!” history, James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, will all face off in this unprecedented event.
According to Gary Levin of USA Today, “But the GOAT tournament will be anything but typical: It consists of a series of two back-to-back games, airing weeknights (8 EST/PST) beginning Jan. 7. The player with the most combined winnings from the two games wins the “match,” and the play continues on successive nights (except Monday) until one of them has won three matches and takes home a $1 million prize. (The other finishers get $250,000 apiece). That means the tournament can last anywhere from three to seven days.”
That is a star-studded game show unlike anything we’ve seen before in game show history.
ABC reality programming chief Rob Mills came up with the idea for his “favorite show” and calls it “my dream project” that’s destined to succeed in an uncertain TV world. He added, “I don’t know how this doesn’t become an event.”
You might remember too that Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter faced off against IBM’s Watson computer in 2011 that became one of the oddest game show moments in the industry’s history. A computer competing on a game show?
It worked because the game ended: Jennings with $4,800, Rutter with $10,400 and Watson with $35,734.
If this GOAT tournament becomes a success, which by all accounts it very well should, then maybe Holzhauer will get his shot at Watson. Why wouldn’t the producers consider it?