|Real Name:||James Holzhauer|
|Net Worth:||$2 million
|Occupation:||American Game Show Contestant,
Professional Sports Gambler
James Holzhauer is a game show contestant and professional sports gambler. Born in 1984 in America, he is the third highest-earning game show contestant of all time. We all know him thanks to his 32-game winning streak as a champion of the quiz show Jeopardy! He set multiple single-game records for winnings from April to June 2019.
Game Shows Career
James started his career by playing other quizzes before getting to Jeopardy. He first appeared on the American version of the show The Chase on September 2, 2014. In his first round, he correctly answered 12 of 14 possible questions in a one-minute round. With that, he set a record that didn’t get surpassed ever since.
He advanced to the Finals and added to the prize pool with a score of five right and one wrong. In the Final Chase Round, his team defeated Mark Labbett’s team with a score of 26 to 9. James earned more than $53,000 for the win.
His next appearance was on the American quiz show 500 questions on May 22, 2015. In this show, the challenger cannot replace the champion unless the champions miss three questions in a row. Steve Bahnaman, prevailed over Holzhauer. James did not receive any winnings.
But his biggest quiz is Jeopardy. He appeared on 33 episodes of Season 35 of the show. James participated from April 4 to June 3, 2019.
During the first game, he won $43,680, setting the record for the largest single-game total to that point in Season 35. And in his fourth game airing on April 9, he broke the previous single-game Jeopardy record by winning $110,914.
And on April 17, he set the record of $131,127, single-game winnings. James is the only player in Jeopardy history to win more than $100,000 in a single episode. He achieved that feat six times.
His total winnings of $2,464,216, translate to $75,362 earnings per episode. That is a 33-day average that is almost equal to the previous single-day record.
Previous champion Ken Jennings said that the feat is similar to a basketball player averaging 70 points per season. Holzhauer’s average winnings are more than the host Alex Trebek earns.
James lost his 33rd game, airing on June 3, 2019. More than 14 million people watched the show. Emma Boettcher, the winner, used almost the same strategy as James during his run.
In November 2019, he appeared for the Tournament of Champions. He won the quarterfinal and semifinal before meeting Boettcher in the Finals. There, he won the two-day Final by winning the first game by a larger margin. Emma won the second game, but James claimed the $250,000 top prize.
The following week, he participated in the prime-time specials for a million-dollar prize against Jennings and Rutter. James won one match in the tournament but lost to Jennings. He received the runner-up prize of $250,000.
With $2,464,216 total winnings in 33 appearances, James is the second-highest winner in Jeopardy regular play. He is only behind Ken Jennings, who won $2,522,700 in 700 episodes in 2004.
With his success in Jeopardy, he earned the nickname Jeopardy James. His total winnings with tournament money place him on the third spot of highest-winning players.
James Holzhauer’s fortune as of June 2020 is over $2 million. Jeopardy is a show airing since 1964. James and Ken are the two biggest icons.
Jennings started his run in 2004, winning 74 consecutive games. Holzhauer holds the top spot for single-game earnings.
To this date, James holds every single Hall of Fame spot for single-game earnings. But Jennings earned the more with $2,520,700 over 74 games.
Brad Rutter holds the record for total winnings, including tournaments. He earned a whopping amount of $4,938,436.
When he was a student, James got into gambling. He played hearts and spades at a card club as a student at the University of Illinois. The club quickly turned into a five-day-a-week home poker game with 10-cent ante.
Holzhauer started his gambling career at the poker table. He grew his sports betting bankroll in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. After graduating from college, he moved to Las Vegas in 2008 to bet professionally on sports. To this day, he says he has predictive models for baseball, NFL, and college basketball. Yet, he focuses on in-game betting.
In 2019, he made his debut at the World Series of Poker. He finished 454th out of 1,800 contestants. He did not win any prize money.
James got married to Melissa Sassin. She is another game show contestant, appearing on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in 2014. They got their daughter Natasha on November 9, 2014.
He frequently makes inside references to important dates with Jeopardy wagers. Those include family members’ birthdays, anniversary, and much more.
Holzhauer is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and wants to get a front-office position with the team. His agreement with Jeopardy expired in January 2020, opening the door for another job.
James donated some of his money from Jeopardy to Las Vegas children’s charities. His success on Jeopardy and donations to the Las Vegas area got him a key to the Las Vegas Strip in May 2019.
He also plans to donate money from winnings in Las Vegas to nonprofit projects. Some of these projects help homeless and disadvantaged high school students.