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‘Jeopardy!’ star James Holzhauer would love a ‘head-to-head death match’ with Ken Jennings

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James Holzhauer continues to amaze and is literally changing Jeopardy! And he will be back on the show  next week after the record-breaking contestant extending his winning streak to 12 days on Friday’s episode.

A professional sports gambler, Holzhauer started catching everyone’s attention a couple weeks ago, as his streak began to grow thanks to his bold strategy for regularly betting everything he has on Daily Doubles (or a large chunk of it) and going for the big-money categories first. Oh, and of course, his extensive trivia knowledge. And combined, he’s been able to rapidly accumulate tens of thousands of dollars before the first commercial breaks.

The 34-year-old from Las Vegas even had a perfect game the other day, and he now occupies the top spots for most single-game winnings.



While captivating both hardcore Jeopardy! fans and casual viewers, Holzhauer was on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday to share a little bit about his life outside of the popular game show and explained just how he got so good. He’s also definitely on board with a matchup against the great Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings.

Jeopardy!‘s a three-player game, I expect a third player would be invited, but I would love the chance to have a head-to-head death match with him. … There’s an offshore site actually that started taking bets on it, a potential matchup between me and him, and they made me the favorite.”

Jennings recently praised Holzhauer’s “absolutely insane” strategy, and we would definitely watch a matchup between the two. Joining Jennings in the 20-win club, Julia Collins could join too for an epic Jeopardy! game.

Being a pro sports gambler is one thing, but Holzhauer told Dan Patrick how he got so good at trivia:

“I kind of made a concerted effort. … I stepped away from sports betting for a few years when I met my wife, tried to start a family, and it kind of became a pet project of mine. I always wanted to go on Jeopardy! since I was a kid, but I decided to really step up and take it seriously during that time. …

“If I don’t know anything about a subject, I go to the library, and I check out the most basic-level children’s book I can find on the subject, filled with lots of pictures, easy to read, get through the basics of it and get you interested. That’s the whole point of a children’s library — to get you interested in stuff you never would have thought about before.”



Holzhauer said he went to the University of Illinois but “barely” attended class, instead opting to “major” in online poker while running a strategy website.

When Patrick asked what his best category is, Holzhauer said football before admitting he actually couldn’t think of the answer fast enough to a football question. He was then asked what his dream sports category would be, and he gave an incredibly specific answer and would surely blow most people away in this one like he does everything else:

“Ooh, good question. Maybe like match the Baseball Hall of Famer to his exact home run total.”

After 12 days of winning, Holzhauer’s total is now at $851,926 after being the only contestant to correctly answer this Final Jeopardy question, via the Naperville Sun, Holzhauer’s Illinois hometown paper:

Holzhauer provided the answer, “What are George, Edward & Henry,” to the Final Jeopardy question of “A “VI” has followed these 3 royal names of English kings?” …

(He) entered the Final Jeopardy round far ahead of his competitors and had $45,000 in winnings. He bet $35,006 on his correct answer and walked away with $80,006.

The other two “Jeopardy!” contestants went into Final Jeopardy with $4,800 and $2,200, and finished the game with $4,500 and $2,200 respectively.



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