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'Jeopardy!' Contestant James Holzhauer Wins More Than $1 Million

Updated on April 24, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various things, including celebrities and television shows.

James Holzhauer's name is becoming a household word. That's because he is breaking all kinds of records on the long-running game show, Jeopardy! hosted by Alex Trebek. In fact, he is so good that he is breaking his own records.

The 35-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, Nevada.has made over $1 million in 14 games. His winning streak is continuing and viewers are wondering how far he will go. So far, none of his competitors have come close to catching him.


Holzhauer's Winnings

On April 9, James broke the record for a single-day cash winning with a total of $110,914. That total matches his daughter's birthday. She was born on November 9, 2014. That was Holzhauer's fourth win in a row totaling $244,365. The previous single-game record was held by Roger Craig, who won $77,000 in 2010.

Holzhauer won $131,127 breaking his own single-day win record of $110,914 on April 9. Actually, he has broken the single-day winnings record a total of seven times. His biggest win was $131,127 on April 17.

Holzhauer now holds the top seven single-day winnings records.

  • April 9 - $110,914
  • April 12 - $89,158
  • April 16 - $106,181
  • April 17 - $131,127.
  • April 19 - $80,006
  • April 22 - $90,812
  • April 23 - $118,816

As of April 23, 2019, he has appeared on 14 episodes and has won a total of $1,061,554. No other contestant has won this much in such a short period of time, not even Ken Jennings.


Holzhauser's Winning Streak

James won his 14th game on Tuesday, April 23 with a total of $118,816. That brought his total earning up to $1,061,554. The contestant is the second person in the history of the show to win more than $1 million in the regular season.

Ken Jennings was the first and only contestant to do so before Holzhauer. Jennings' won $2,520,700 during his 74-game streak. He is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records under "Most cash won on a game show."

If James keeps winning, he will make more than Jennings because he already has won his first million in only 14 games.

Before Holzhauer, Dave Madden was in the second spot behind Jennings. Madden won $430,400 after playing 19 games. Holzhauer surpassed that total in only eight games.

Holzhauer's consecutive 14th game put him in fourth place in Jeopardy! history and he is still going strong.

Daily Double
Daily Double | Source

Holzhauer's $25,000 total on a Daily Double broke Philip Tiu's prior record of $19,000 for largest successful Daily Double wager.

The contestant set the record for the largest successful Final Jeopardy wager twice; first with a $38,314 wager, and with a second win with a $60,013 bet. Both times, he broke the record set by Austin Rogers for the largest successful Final Jeopardy wager with $34,000.

Watch James Holzhauser in Action

Hotzhauser's Strategy

James' background in gambling gives him a considerable advantage over other players.

Selections from the Bottom
The clues in Jeopardy! are designed to go from the easy to the harder questions and to go from the least to the most amount of money. Most contestants start at the top of the category and work their way down to the bottom where the correct answers are worth more money. Holzhauer starts at the bottom.

Bounces Around the Board
Holzhauer bounces around the board. Needless to say, he gets almost all of the Daily Doubles and his bet is a true Daily Double. This method is known as the "Forrest Bounce" named after contestant Chuck Forrest. The object of this method is to get the most amount of money in the shortest period of time so it can be bet in the Daily Doubles.

Quick on the Buzzer
It is not that the other two contestants are not buzzing in to answer a particular question. It is just that James is much faster. When he answers a question, he is in control of the board until he gets a question wrong which he rarely does.

Final Jeopardy!
Holzhauer is not afraid to wager a large amount on the Final Jeopardy question. He can afford to do. Even if he gets a Final Jeopardy question wrong (which he hasn't done yet), he will still win since he has so much more money than the other two contestants. He bets big and he wins big.

He sends birthday wishes and other messages to family members and friends on his Final Jeopardy! card.

James is Smart, Really Smart
James is very smart in every category that has been on the board.


About 'Jeopardy!'

At one time, the ruling was that contestants could not stay on the show after their fifth consecutive win. The rule changed in 2003, and contestants can stay as long as they keep winning. Ken Jennings stayed for 75 games over 182 days and won over $2.5 million.

Because of the five-game rule, many other top winners have retired from Jeopardy! undefeated.

Do you watch 'Jeopardy!'?

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    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      3 weeks ago from Roanoke

      He is inspiring

    • Readmikenow profile image


      3 weeks ago

      I am a big Jeopardy fan. This guy is amazing. He is a gambler. Other contestant have been ahead of him, he gets a daily double, puts it all in and wins big. I've never seen anything like him. I read where the average Jeopardy Champion wins between $20 and $25,000. This guy is averaging $70,000 a win. It's amazing and quite exciting for a big fan of the show like me. This was also a good article I enjoyed reading.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      3 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      I've never seen this show before, but it sounds really interesting. It sounds like this man has been doing really well with his winnings.


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