NY Times, TVWeek

The Truth Behind ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion James Holzhauer’s Weird Smile

May 8, 2019  •  Post A Comment

Critics of James Holzhauer, who was smoking everyone on the TV game show “Jeopardy!” until the regular show took a two-week hiatus to put on the annual Teachers Tournament, tend to complain a lot about his smile, and even his fans have to admit it appears a bit forced. But The New York Times reports that there’s a reason for it.

In a piece published this week providing some of the backstory on Holzhauer’s journey to TV riches and fame The Times cites Ben Yu, Holzhauer’s longtime friend, saying Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler, solicited advice on an online poker forum about what he should do to make it onto “Jeopardy!”

“The number one piece of advice he got was just, ‘Smile, look like you’re having a good time,’” said Yu. The Times adds that Yu imagined Holzhauer thinking: “I am going to do whatever it takes. I am going to smile as forcefully as I can to make sure these producers put me on.”

The report adds: “The country has seen a lot of that strained toothy smile over the past month, but these days, Holzhauer, 34, doesn’t need to put on a happy face to prove he belongs on ‘Jeopardy!’ Since early April, he has been raking in cash at a faster rate than any other contestant in the show’s history, making $1.7 million so far.”

Holzhauer also now holds the top 12 spots on the show’s list of highest single-game winnings, the story reports.

“His winning streak, now at 22 games, has fueled speculation that he could surpass the reigning all-time ‘Jeopardy!’ champ Ken Jennings, who won $2.5 million over 74 episodes in 2004,” The Times notes.

Holzhauer is due back on the show May 20, when the regular show returns following the Teachers Tournament.

We encourage readers to click on the link above to The New York Times to learn more of Holzhauer’s backstory.

James Holzhauer


  1. His smile looks like that because he has an underbite

  2. I believe he must smile like this because he has 11 extra teeth and his lips are pulled back very thin to cover them. Hence the freaky garish smile that looks 7 levels of creepy. Additionally, I believe or people are saying, that having 11 extra teeth correlates strongly to having an IQ of at least 189. Don’t take my word for that though, many good people are saying this.

    • Just a creepy douche bag. Should have to wear a covid mask for the rest of his life😷😷 !!

  3. His smile is what it is. I watched the show until he was off of it and now I’m not interested anymore. James made this show interesting because he knew so many things. I never tired of him but I am tired of the pedantic show now called jeopardy

  4. hes been smiling like that since college

    hes got a screw or two loose

    its like a mix of duke nukem and doom or wolfenstein where if you let your game sit for 30 seconds he would break out into a devilish grin

  5. this guy is totally dong a troll-face all day. hahahaahah

  6. His smile irritates me like scraping your nails on a black board

  7. He is a faggot!

  8. I think he is adorable..I can^t wait to watch the re runs Im 85 years old and I think he ie brilliant and his smile is great ..So bug off ..Peple tat critize him are jealous of him..He has it ALL..

  9. see above

  10. He was a nigger’s penis sucker.

  11. I am surprised this site allows such disgusting remarks about this fellow! he has a problem with his teeth!!

  12. James has an underbite that’s all! I can’t believe what some people say about him. Most of them are just jealous because he’s so intelligent. I’m hoping that some dentist will get in touch with him and offer to fix his problem. I love him!

  13. Some of these comments are immature & absolutely terrible. Grow up people.

  14. Wow, sports gambling is his profession. Interesting. This guy must also be a mathematical genius.

  15. A nice big smile is very important on a man’s face. He just has an underbite & really should have it checked by a dentist. Obviously, money would not be an issue. Hopefully, someone he knows and trusts will speak to him about his teeth.

  16. James now has enough money to get his teeth straightened. This procedure would really improve his smile.

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