James Holzhauer is making Jeopardy history, and after 14 consecutive wins, he’s on track to break the show’s biggest record.
The professional sports gambler broke the show’s record for single-day cash winnings and then broke his own record, a streak that CNBC notes is probably wreaking havoc on the game show’s budget.
The show’s hall of fame now features Holzhauer in the top seven spots. While Holzhauer knows a shocking amount of trivia, he credits his success in part to his use of a controversial method known as the “Forrest Bounce,” named for former Jeopardy champion Chuck Forrest, who jumped from category to category choosing tiles seemingly at random in order to throw off his opponents. (For more on that, check out this Atlantic article on Jeopardy game theory.)
While not a record-breaking number, Holzhauer won $118,816 in the game that aired Tuesday night, bringing his total earnings to a whopping $1,061,554. According to CNN, he’s now the second person in the show’s history to earn more than $1 million in the regular season.
The only other contestant to win more than $1 million in regular-season games is Ken Jennings, who earned $2,520,700, but over the course of 74 games, while Holzhauer took only 14 games to earn nearly half that amount. Holzhauer’s accomplishments are impressive, but if my math is correct (no promises), he still needs to win $1,459,146 to beat the record set by Jennings.
Holzhauer will continue his effort tonight.