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'Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time' Tournament

Updated on December 11, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various topics including celebrities and entertainment.

Three Top Winners on Jeopardy!
Three Top Winners on Jeopardy! | Source

We have seen them win millions of dollars while competing against other contestants. Now the three top Jeopardy! winners are set to compete to see who is the "greatest of all time." The top winners are Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, and James Holzhauer.

The tournament airs on ABC starting Tuesday, January 7, 2020, and will run through January 16 or until one of the men wins three games while competing in a series of matches. The first competitor to win three games will receive $1 million and the title of Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time. The regular game show usually airs for just half-hour following Wheel of Fortune at 7:30 p.m. The tournament starts at 8 p.m. and airs for one hour.

Don't feel bad for the other two contestants because each of them will get $250,000 for their participation during the tournament.

What Host Alex Trebek Says

Alex Trebek will host the tournament just as he hosts the regular game show each weekday. There have been other tournaments, but this is the first one of its kind in Trebek's 36 years of hosting the popular ABC game show.

Trebek said he is excited about seeing the three top winners compete. He is hoping the tournament will last the entire seven days it has been scheduled. However, it will be over as soon as the first one contestant wins three games. That means that the tournament will be a minimum of three days.

When TJ Holmes of Good Morning America asked Trebek who he thought would win, the 79-year-old host said all three men are already great winners. He said based on their previous performances, any one of them could be declared "the greatest of all time" because they have their own style that they trust. Trebek concluded, "They didn’t win all that money by accident.”

Brad Rutter
Brad Rutter | Source

Brad Rutter

Brad Rutter was a contestant on Jeopardy! when the rules were different. He holds the title for winning the most by a contestant on any television game show. At the time of his performance, the rule was a contestant could stay on the show for only five days. Therefore, Rutter never lost to a person. He ended up with $4,688,436 for his five-day stint on Jeopardy! compared to Ken Jennings' 74 days and James Holzhauer's 32 days. During that time in 2000, prizes were also included in the winnings. Rutter won two cars.

Why Rutter Might Win

It has been a long time since Rutter earned his winnings on the show, but he can still win if he stays focused and makes significant bets. All three men say they have been studying their competitors' style. That is good, but they must trust their own comfortable style.

Why Rutter Might Lose

The 41-year-old contestant is the most seasoned of the three champions, but he needs to do more than just give the correct answers. He must bet big like Holzhauer.

Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings | Source

Ken Jennings

Ken Jennings has the longest record for being on the show from June 2 through November 30, 2004. His streak lasted 74 days with winnings totaling $3,370,700. He became a household name as viewers watched him each night as he kept on winning. He shared that his 2-year-old son began calling him "Ken Jennings" after seeing him so often on television.

Why Jennings Might Win

He excels in match play and has the mental capacity to win and keep on winning.

Why Jennings Might Lose

Jennings is 45 now and 15 years after his winning streak. He admits his reflexes and recollection are not what they were during his 74-day competition. He could win, but it won't be easy.

James Holzhauer
James Holzhauer | Source

James Holzhauer

Holzhauer is the most recent top winner. Each of his episodes averaged more than 12 million viewers during the time he was on his winning streak from .... to .... His time on the show was 32 days. He holds the record for all 15 of the top single-game winnings records on the show. His winnings totaled $2,712,216.

James won more than $130,000 in a single match. He is known for his aggressive wagers especially on Daily Doubles.

Why Holzhauer Might Win

The 35-year-old professional gambler seems to have no fear of picking the highest-value questions first. He is the only player to ever win $100,000 in a game. He did it six times.

Why Holzhauer Might Lose

Holzhauer is a risk-taker. He made a lot of true Daily Doubles by betting all his money on one question. He could lose if he doesn't get Daily Doubles or if he gets them but gets the questions wrong.

It Is How They Play the Game

It is not how much the contestants know. It is how fast they press the buzzer. More importantly, it is how often they get the Daily Doubles and how much they bet on the Daily Doubles and the Bonus Question.

Jeopardy! Winner
Number of Games
Amount of Money
Record Holder
Brad Rutter
Contestants were limited to only 5 days on the show
Highest Money and Prize Winner of any contestant including any gamesand
Ken Jennings
Longest Winning Streak
James Holzhauer
Top Single-Day Winning Records

My Prediction

American betting firm Bovada reveals that Holzhauer and Rutter are at 7/5 odds to win, and Jennings is at 9/5.

My prediction is that James Holzhauer will win the title of the "Greatest of All Time" because he is the most recent winner and is still in the flow. He will remember what he did that got him there the first time. James seems to have the best memory. If he has ever seen it, heard it, or read it, James remembers it.

James usually starts from the bottom of the column for the most valued questions. When he gets the Daily Doubles, he bets big. Often he bets all he has to make it a true Daily Double. After all, James is a professional gambler.

Who do you think will be Jeopardy's "Greatest of All Time"?

See results

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