James Holzhauer has been absolutely dominating as a contestant on Jeopardy! and has now been settled into second place behind first-place Ken Jeggings. In just ten episodes, James has been able to take some serious risks that have sky-rocketed him into second place, allowing him to have the four single-highest totals in the show’s history.
Through one episode alone he racked up $697,787. James is apparently a professional gambler, which explains a lot as to why he is slowly climbing up to Jeopardy! totem pole.
The first-place winner of Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings, spoke to Natalie Morales of TODAY about James’ strategy when it comes to the game. “He’s thinking about the game in a whole different way, and I never would’ve had the stomach to make some of those bets he’s making,” he says.
James is already up to 10 wins! How far will he go? pic.twitter.com/dn1nsUWYkq
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) April 18, 2019
So, what are his actual strategies?
According to TODAY, one of his strategies includes “fully doubling down whenever he finds a Daily Double and starting from the bottom of the board to hunt the big money first.”
“He also makes Daily Double and Final Jeopardy wagers with personal meaning. He wagered $9,812 because he got married on Sept. 8, 2012, and bet $11,914 because it corresponds with his daughter’s birthday.” Wow!
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) April 16, 2019
James apparently worked incredibly hard for a chance to be on the show. He took the online tryout test 13 times and had 2 in-person auditions! He also said that he practiced his buzzer-pressing skills by putting masking tape around a mechanical pencil. James apparently has watched the show since he was a kid when he would watch it with his grandmother.
James has also said that all his knowledge doesn’t come from a formal education either. The second-place holder says he hated school, “I just studied things I wasn’t good at before, tried to shore up the weak points.”
James is quickly approaching $1,000,000 in total winnings. Will he go the distance? Tune in to find out! pic.twitter.com/GS4G5Tyara
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) April 23, 2019
So, what is Ken Jennings’ advice to James who is now approaching a total of $1m winnings?
“I’d give James the same advice I give everybody on ‘Jeopardy!”’ he explained, “Don’t wear a sweater. You’ll look like a dork.” Pretty solid advice from a fellow Jeopardy! winner.
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