You may not be a religious watcher of “Jeopardy!” but you’ve probably heard the name James Holzhauer if you haven’t.
Holzhauer became a household name several months ago when he went on an unbelievable streak on Alex Trebek’s show shattering all kinds of records.
And in his “Tournament of Champions” triumphant return to “Jeopardy!” nobody was really shocked to see what happened.
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.
Holzhauer was on his way to beating Ken Jennings all-time money earning record in about half the time. 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 it came to an abrupt sudden end.
But Jeopardy James lost, finishing with $2,462,216 in 32 days (exactly half the time of Jennings).
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 him ending his streak at 32 days.
The 35-year-old returned for the “Tournament of Champions” going up against fellow season winners Lindsey Shultz and Alan Dunn.
Holzhauer utilized his effective strategy of going after the higher-paying questions early on, racking up $30,653, but he earned a majority of his winnings after just the first two rounds. Because of his strategy, it became clear at that point that his competitors would likely be mathematically unable to catch up by the end of the game.
Shultz finished with $14,000 while Dunn only accrued $1.
Was anybody really surprised? No way. Everyone was shocked when his streak ended. He’s pretty much the Michael Jordan of game show contestants.
Can you imagine how Holzhauer would fare on a show like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” if it was still on the air? That would be must-watch television.
One excellent caveat of the “Tournament of Champions” is that depending how the dominoes fall; Holzhauer may be in a position of getting his redemption against Boettcher, the Chicago librarian who ended his streak.
At the time he said, “If I had to go out, I wanted to go out against a top player who beat me in a straight up contest.”
The Las Vegas odds of whether he’ll win the whole tournament are likely through the roof.