Even Ken Jennings Is Rooting for James Holzhauer on 'Jeopardy!'
Jeopardy! has been making headlines left and right thanks to current champion James Holzhauer, who who has been on a winning streak now for more than 20 days.
The Las Vegas-based sports bettor has become somewhat of an enigma as he's wracked in large sums including the highest pay-out for a single day win — $131,127 — as well as running the second-highest winning streak of all time behind Ken Jennings. Overall, Holzhauer has collected more than $1.7 million in under 25 days and is quickly catching up to Jennings, who took home $2.5 million during his 74-day winning streak in 2004.
Holzhauer has won his 21st game, winning $80,615 on Thursday to bring his total to $1,608,627.
So will he beat the master of Jeopardy! at his own game? It's shaping up to seem so, and Jennings couldn't be more excited. The fan favorite penned an op-ed for The Washington Post in which he considered the contestant.
"Imagine the kind of moxie it takes to tell yourself, 'Actually, I have a theory. Everyone else has been playing Jeopardy! wrong for decades. Today, the first time in my life I pick up that buzzer, I'm going to try something different.' Just taking that chance is what I admire most about Holzhauer," Jennings wrote in the piece.
If Jennings' summations are on par with Holzhauer's averages, the current champion is poised to surpass Jennings' total winnings from his streak before the 74-day mark. As Jennings points out, Holzhauer is averaging over $76,000 per game, while the former champ set his single-day record with a $75,000 win in comparison to Holzhauer's $131, 127.
As of now, Holzhauer also holds the other top spots for single-day wins, is ranked second in regular-game wins and third in overall total winnings with the show. Time will tell if the current player can reign supreme, but Jennings is hopeful he will.
The 'Jeopardy!' host was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
"I'm the only person alive who knows firsthand how difficult it is to do what Holzhauer is doing, and that's why I'm rooting him on," wrote Jennings. "I may hold a bunch of Jeopardy! records, but at heart I'm just a fan of the show. And for any real Jeopardy! fan, this streak is something special."
What do you think? Can Holzhauer edge Jennings out as the ultimate Jeopardy! champion? Let us know in the comments below, and don't miss Holzhauer's continued success.
Jeopardy!, weeknights, check your local listings