A contestant who has dominated “Jeopardy!” for the past two weeks has been winning by such wide margins that some observers are worried that he may have destroyed the show.
James Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler who lives in Las Vegas, has been so dominant that at times host Alex Trebek appears shell-shocked.
Holzhauer is on a 10-game winning streak and has chalked up total winnings of $697,787. But it’s not just that he’s winning, it’s that he’s crushing the competition and setting a ton of records along the way.
Holzhauer has already registered the four highest single-day payouts in “Jeopardy!” history, topped by Wednesday’s haul of $131,127.
His unconventional strategy includes going after the highest-value clues first and placing enormous bets on Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy. The strategy is backed up by Holzhauer’s speed on the buzzer, wide knowledge of virtually everything and instantaneous recall.
Even Ken Jennings, who still holds the “career” record with more than $2.5 million in “Jeopardy!” winnings, is commenting about Holzhauer. Jennings sent out a tweet Wednesday saying: “This is absolutely insane. I’ve always wanted to see someone try Jeopardy! wagering this way who had the skills to back it up.”
SBNation observes that the Holzhauer phenomenon has made the show “appointment television.” At the same time, the piece notes that Holzhauer is “breaking ‘Jeopardy!’ and making geniuses look like idiots.”
“Holzhauer has found a way to break the game, and rack up money at a rate nobody has seen before,” SBNation reports, adding: “He might be the most exciting game show participant of all time,”
Here’s a clip posted by “Jeopardy!” following Wednesday’s show …