‘Jeopardy’ champ James Holzhauer surges to 27th victory, over $2M in winnings

‘Jeopardy’ champ James Holzhauer surges to 27th victory, over $2M in winnings


James Holzhauer has written another chapter in the “Jeopardy!” record books.

With a runaway victory of $74,400 on Friday night — his 27th in a row — the professional sports gambler blasted through the $2 million mark in earnings.

He’s only the second player in the 35-year history of the beloved game show to pass that threshold. The only other “Jeopardy!” contestant to attain that milestone during regular-season play is Ken Jennings, whose winnings over 74 consecutive games in 2004 totaled $2,520,700.

Holzhauer’s coffers so far are jangling with $2,065,535. (The Las Vegas resident has started donating money to local charities, including the Las Vegas-Clark County Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum and the local Ronald McDonald House.)

The 34-year-old’s dominance was tested on Thursday night, when Nate Scheffey, a technology consultant from New York City, held the lead by as much as $11,200 early in the episode. Holzhauer came back to top Scheffey by $16,308.

Friday night’s challengers, school administrator Susan Waller and criminal defense lawyer Sam Kooistra, couldn’t stop the juggernaut. Kooistra ended Double Jeopardy in the red, so didn’t compete in Final Jeopardy; Waller got Final Jeopardy wrong and ending up with $1,800 to Holzhauer’s $74,400.

During the portion of Friday’s show where beloved host Alex Trebek chats with each contestant, he asked Holzhauer about the book “Moneyball,” on the use of sabermetrics to scout and assess athletes.

In May, he told MLB.com that his longtime dream was to work for Major League Baseball as “a guy who can help the team on making decisions on which guys to trade for and sign as free agent.”

Trebek asked Holzhauer Friday if he would be interested in a career in statistical analysis for a baseball team.

“Before I knew that Jeopardy contestant was a palatable career, yes,” Holzhauer joked.

Holzhauer has also smashed the record money won in a single game ($77,000, by Roger Craig); he now holds all of the top 10 single-game earning slots in “Jeopardy!” history. The pinnacle: he took home $131,127 on April 17.

If Holzhauer can continue his winning streak — given his average per game of about $77,000 — he is expected to top Jennings’ total on June 3.

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