Unless you've been living on a desert island for the last couple weeks you've undoubtedly heard about the reigning Jeopardy champion James Holzhauer, who on last Tuesday evening's episode hit his 14th straight day of wins on the quiz program, as well as another nearly unprecedented milestone: He's only the second person in the show's history to take home more than $1 million in standard, non-tournament play.
Holzhauer won $118,816 on Tuesday of last week, which pushed him well over the $1 million margin for a total of $1,061,554 over the course of 14 games. The only person in front of him at this point in the sphere of Jeopardy winnings is Ken Jennings himself, who during his famous run in 2004 won a total of $2,520,700 across 74 games.
As of this writing, his win streak is 18 days and his total winnings top $1.3 million.
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Holzhauer has racked up a few other Jeopardy milestones as well over the course of his championship run, which, thanks to his dominant style of play, seems to have no end in sight. He's reportedly fourth on the list of those with the most consecutive wins on the show, trailing David Madden with 19 wins, Julia Collins with 20 wins, and Jennings again with an incredible 74 wins. At a recent Wired Q&A, Jennings answered a question about his closest rival to all-time king of the Jeopardy hill:
"I'm just gobsmacked by James. It's absolutely insane what he's doing. Like, I thought I had seen everything on Jeopardy. And this is something I would have thought was just impossible, these numbers. Statistically, he's playing at as high a level as anyone who's ever played the game. And then he's got these incredibly confident wagers. He's maximizing money. He can make two or three times what any other player ever has with that same level of play, which again is top-shelf. He's as good as anybody."
With that strategy, Holzhauer has managed to dominate in the field of single game earnings as well. On April 17th, his $131,127 haul busted his own previous record. But before that, the record was held by one Roger Craig, a computer scientist who held the record of highest single game Jeopardy record from September 2010 until April 9th, 2019. With a final score of $77,000, he beat previous record-holder Ken Jennings' record by $2,000 – both records having been now left in the dust by Holzhauer's combination of speed on the buzzer, encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of subjects, and extremely audacious wagering.
It remains to be seen how much Holzhauer will earn on Jeopardy and if he'll be able to beat those all-time earning and consecutive win records. But at this point the sky seems to be the limit.