Pro gambler and Jeopardy! phenom James Holzhauer returning for $250k Tournament of Champions.
Earlier this year, the game show loving world was enraptured by the genius mind of one James Holzhauer. He first appeared on Jeopardy! in April 4, 2019, converting his rapid-fire wisdom in a 32-game win streak worth $2,464,216. That total makes him the second highest money-winning player in the 55 year history of Jeopardy, and the fourth largest of nay game show prize earner since the dawn of television.
For the countless fans who watched ‘Jeopardy! James‘ in action during his two-month reign, this week’s announcement by long-time host Alex Trebek was a source of immense enthusiasm. For the first time since 2017, Jeopardy! Will host its famous Tournament of Champions, welcoming Holzhauer back for a chance to become the show’s all time highest cash winner.
Pro Gambler Jeopardy! James Holzhauer is Back!
James’ last appearance on the show, June 3, 2019, left him just $58,485 shy of beating the current record holder, Ken Jennings, who won $2.52 million throughout a 74-game winning streak in 2004. Holzhauer will have the opportunity to beat out Jennings come November 4, when the latest $250,000 Tournament of Champions gets underway.
The 2019 edition will feature 15 champions, all of whom earned their spot in the tournament for a stellar winning-streak performance in 2018-19. This marks the second largest number of contestants in the tournaments history, with the largest being 27 competitor back in 1990.
The Quarterfinal rounds will see James Holzhauer facing off against software development manager Alan Dunn (5-game win streak, $122,802), and physician and healthcare analyst Lindsey Shultz (4-show win streak, $89,400).
Many fans of the show expressed their disappointment that Jeopardy! James would not be competing against Emma Boettcher; the very opponent who finally ended reign following 33-consecutive appearances on the show. Emma, a librarian from Chicago, Illinois, defeated James on June 3, 2019, then went on to win her next two matches before losing on day 4, collecting a total of $98,002.
How Gambling Helped James Holzhauer Win
The Jeopardy! phenom says his career as a professional gambler was a tremendous help in his accumulation of $2.46 million over 32 wins. Jenning’s 74-game streak was more than twice as long as Holzhauer’s, and yet the 35 year old gambling aficionado has nearly the same amount in earnings.
I think it was a huge advantage that I don’t blink at gambling large amounts of money when I think I have a big edge,” Holzhauer told The Washington Post back in April.
“I approach both sports betting and ‘Jeopardy!’ with the same attitude,” he explained. “What can I do differently than the average person to give myself an edge?”
As for his immense wealth of knowledge, the pro gambler attributes that to his eternal love of informational children’s books – the kinds that are filled with interesting facts and lots of eye-catching illustrations.
“They are chock-full of infographics, pictures and all kinds of stuff to keep the reader engaged,” said Jeopardy! James after his first big week of wins on the show. “I couldn’t make it through a chapter of an actual Dickens novel without falling asleep.”