The Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament begins on January 7, 2020 in hopes to find out who really is the greatest champion of all time. One of the three contestants is James Holzhauer, a 32-time regular-play champion who holds the top ten records for single-game earnings. To date, he has earned $2,462,216 on Jeopardy!.
Holzhauer’s reign began in April 2019 with an above-average game. In his first game, he won $43,680. It took until his fourth game to break the previous single-game record; he won $110,914 that day. His average per-game game winnings are $76,944, which is nearly $50,000 above the average winner.
His strategy is simple: first, he selects the highest-value clues, then he goes on the hunt for the daily double question. If he has enough before hitting the daily double, he’ll wager a large amount, putting a large gap between himself and his competition early in the game. The strategy worked most of the time since Holzhaur answered 94.7 percent of his daily double questions correctly.
Holzhauer’s initial run on the show lasted for 32 games. He has also appeared in the 2019 Tournament of Champions and will be back for the 2020 Greatest of All Time tournament.
During his run, Holzhauer brought home more per episode than host Alex Trebek. Trebek makes closer to $50,000 per episode.
He Holds 10 Records
According to the Jeopardy! website, Holzhauer has the top ten records of single-game earnings. His top-earning game was on April 17, 2019 when he won $131,127. The second-highest earnings were $130,022, which he won on May 27, 2019.
The tenth highest-earning game took place on May 20, 2019. He won $80,229. Before Holzhauer, the single-game record was $77,000. His average winnings almost total that amount.
The daily double strategy was helpful to Holzhauer’s winning of this record. His stats show that his average bet per daily double was $9,000, and he answered 71 out of 75 of those questions correctly. He also answered 97 percent of Final Jeopardy questions correctly.
During Holzhauer’s initial run on Jeopardy, Nielsen ratings rose 11 percent nationally and as much as 50 percent in select markets. The ratings continued to grow, doubling in some markets by the end of his run. The highest-rated episode was his final episode. The episode attracted 14.5 million same-day viewers and was the highest-rated episode since the end of champion Ken Jennings’ run in 2004. If Holzhauer had won that day, he may have broken Jennings’ record for regular-season winnings.
He Won the 2019 Tournament of Champions
When the producers decide there are enough champions to do so, Jeopardy! holds a tournament of champions. In 2019, Holzhauer participated in the tournament, which ran from November 4 to November 15.
He was in the top three along with Emma Boettcher, the librarian who defeated him in his regular-season play. He ultimately won the tournament, bringing home $250,000.
Jeopardy James will be back for the Greatest of All Time tournament, which pits him against previous champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The three are competing in a best-out-of-seven series of matches. The tournament will air in prime time, and the champion will take home $1 million. The two runners-up will bring home $250,000. The special airs in addition to the regularly-scheduled Jeopardy! episodes, which will still air at their normal time.