'Jeopardy!': James Holzhauer Nears $2 Million in Winnings With Tough Win

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Jeopardy

Reigning Jeopardy! contestant James Holzhauer extended his winning streak to 26 games as he nears a $2 million cash total.

Holzhauer faced stiff competition on Thursday as he trailed behind contestant Nate Scheffey during the first Jeopardy! round.

Even Ken Jennings Is Rooting for James Holzhauer on 'Jeopardy!'

Even Ken Jennings Is Rooting for James Holzhauer on 'Jeopardy!'

This new champ is quickly catching up to the fan favorite.

The 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas recovered, however, and pulled ahead by $5,400 before heading into the final question.

Holzhauer and Scheffey both gave the correct response with Holzhauer winning the game by betting $20,908 to earn $52,108. He has now earned $1,991,135 over the course of his winning streak.

Holzhauer, if he wins on Friday and earns at least an additional $8,865, will then reach $2 million.

He only trails former contestant Ken Jennings who previously won 74 consecutive games of Jeopardy! and holds the record for most money earned during the regular-season play with $2,520,700.

Alex Trebek Offers Health Update in 'Good Morning America' Interview (VIDEO)

Alex Trebek Offers Health Update in 'Good Morning America' Interview (VIDEO)

The 'Jeopardy!' host was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

Holzhauer is only the second contestant ever to reach $1 million in regular-season play. His top single game total equals $131,127 — a Jeopardy! record.

By Wade Sheridan

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.