Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer adds to winning streak Thursday | News Coverage from USA

Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer adds to winning streak Thursday

James Holzhauer reached another “Jeopardy!” milestone with his 21st victory on the quiz show Thursday. 

The triumph moves Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, into second place for the most consecutive wins, although he remains substantially behind all-time champ Ken Jennings, who won 74 times. (Champions were limited to five appearances until 2003).

Even more impressive, Holzhauer racked up another big money win, $80,615 on Thursday, bringing his total to $1,608,627, inching closer to Jennings’ $2.5 million haul in just over a quarter the number of appearances. 

 Holzhauer’s one-day prize record was $131,127.

More: A five-time ‘Jeopardy!’ champ explains what makes current star James Holzhauer a game-changer

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Holzhauer explained his strategy in a Q&A last week with The New York Times. Unlike most players, he picks the highest-value clues first.

“You can see as soon as I get control of the board in the first game, I’m going for the $1,000 clues whenever I have the opportunity,” he said, likening his approach to a poker strategy.

“There are big advantages to having a lot of chips early on in a poker tournament. You can make plays that other people can’t.”

Eddie Timanus, a five-time “Jeopardy!” winner who compiles the college coaches polls for USA TODAY Sports, describes Holzhauer as “a game-changer.” 

Timanus notes Holzhauer’s mastery of the signaling buzzer, but says he really stands out in his aggressive bidding.

“While many players, myself included, prefer to play categories from top to bottom and try to stick to them, Holzhauer clears the big-dollar clues first,” Timanus says. “Thanks to his ability to ring in first consistently and rarely miss, he usually has a considerable total built up by the time he uncovers a Daily Double. He finds most of them since he’s able to maintain control of the board for long stretches, and, as we’ve seen, he’s not afraid to bet big.”

His overall assessment of Holzhauer the player: “Speed, instinct, confidence and knowledge — pretty SICK, wouldn’t you say?”

 

 

 

 

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