If you were a wordplay buff, you might say that Ken Jennings' $2,520,700 total Jeopardy winnings record for non-tournament was officially in … jeopardy, with reigning champ and unprecedented game show phenom James Holzhauer coming within $200,000 of the milestone with his most recent victory – which, given the way he plays, means that he'll likely be able to break the record in a matter of days.
Surpassing $100,000 in a single game isn't unheard of for Holzhauer by any means, and back in April he achieved his own personal best (so far) with a single-day take of $131,127.
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As of this writing, Holzhauer's overall total winnings during his astounding run comes to $2,323,971 (less than $200,000 from the record), but an interesting aspect of his duel with Jennings is that despite being within a couple hundred grand or so from Jennings' record, his streak of 30 consecutive wins and counting is well under half of Jennings' streak of 74 wins – testament to the way Holzhauer's bold wagering style has allowed him to rack up incredible winnings in a fraction of the time it took Jennings to earn a comparable amount. Jennings himself, with his usual gracious demeanor towards his game show rival, spoke on this dynamic between their relative styles of play in a recent interview on Good Morning America:
"What I did not expect, was that somebody could make a run at the cash record in, like, a third (of) the time…It's really just astounding, what he's doing."
On a recent episode of Jeopardy, Holzhauer joined Jennings in what is now an exclusive two-person club: Jeopardy contestants who have won more than $2 million in non-tournament play. Now, if Holzhauer keeps up his streak and continues to win dollar figures that he's grown accustomed to, it will only be a matter of time before he surpasses Jennings in the field of total overall winnings.
James won again tonight! His 31st victory came with a winning score of $58,612 which brings his total haul to $2,382,583. That's less than $150,000 away from Ken Jennings' record!