Arts & Entertainment

Jeopardy! Champion Continues Unbelievable Run

James Holzhauer continues to win jaw-dropping totals on a nightly basis. How did he get so good?


There's something special happening on Jeopardy! right now. Nightly viewers are watching one of the most dominant runs by a contestant in the game show's history.

James Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, NV, is laying waste to his opponents, racking up 16 straight wins with more than $1.2 million dollars in total winnings.

Holzhauer has combined an ambitious gambling strategy with seemingly encyclopedic knowledge. He goes after the highest dollar amounts in each category and hunts for Daily Doubles--and when he hits one, he wagers huge amounts. He's now won the seven highest single game totals in show history.

Oh and one other thing--he almost never gets a question wrong, so he rarely loses any money off his total.

In 16 games, Holzhauer has set won the top seven highest single day totals in Jeopardy! history.

Holzhauer told WIRED magazine that his quick buzzer finger and his gambler's mindset are his biggest assets .

"The real advantage I draw from my job is that I don't have a mental block about betting $38,314 on one trivia question," he says. "It's only money."

So how did Holzhauer prepare for Jeopardy? By heading to the children's section of his local library. He told the Washington Post that children's books are the best way to learn more about a topic, because they are packed with pictures, charts and useful information that is easy to remember .

"I don't know if you've read books written for adults in nonfiction, but they're pretty boring," Holzhauer said.

He also watched recorded episodes in his family room, practicing standing in dress shoes and "ringing in" on a makeshift buzzer (tape wrapped around a pen clicker.)

But its not just all business for the reigning champ. He's endeared himself to fans by wagering dollar amounts that correspond with his anniversary, his wife and daughter's birthdays, and the birthdays for his neice and nephew, among others.

So where does Holzhauer rank in the Jeopardy! "Hall of Fame" Ken Jennings holds the record with 74 consecutive wins, where he won $2,520,700. But Holzhauer is already nearly half way to Jennings' total winnings in just 16 games! Since Jennings, no other Jeopardy! contestant has every won more than 20 consecutive games.

How long can Holzhauer go, and how much more cash can he rake in? Fans will just have to keep tuning in to find out.

Images courtesy Jeopardy! Productions.

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