Get to Know ‘The Chase,’ From the Brainiac Chasers to Host Sara Haines
There’s no question that Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer are the GOATs of Jeopardy!—these three kings of knowledge dominated the quiz game for decades. Come January 7, they’re taking their talents and brains to ABC’s The Chase, where the trio rotate playing spoiler, or “chaser,” against three contestants looking to earn cash prizes.
Let’s see how these titans of trivia size up.
Ken Jennings earned his place on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of game show competitors thanks to a record 74-game winning streak on Jeopardy! Viewers tuned in, in 2004, to witness the software engineer’s history-making run, which totaled $2.52 million. His overall show winnings reached more than $4.5 million, including his Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time victory. Jennings appeared on other game shows over the years, such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? He is also a pretty prolific author and podcast host. After the final episodes of Jeopardy! air with the beloved Alex Trebek at the helm, Jennings will step in first as guest host starting January 11.
Brad Rutter banked more than $5 million, and stood out as the biggest winner of the syndicated Jeopardy! The 42-year-old never lost a game to a human (IBM’s Watson got the better of him in 2011) until falling to Jennings in the Greatest of All Time tournament. Not bad for a John Hopkins University dropout and record store clerk. Much like Jennings, he also appeared on other shows, including 1 vs. 100 in 2006. Rutter knows The Chase concept well, having been part of a pilot episode of the American version of the British game show when it was in early development at Fox.
The High Roller
“Jeopardy” James Holzhauer rounds out the chasers with a record of his own, raking in 15 of the top single-day winnings on the show. The 2019 Tournament of Champions victor inched closer to $3 million in show earnings after the Greatest of All Time last year. The professional sports gambler knows what the contestants on The Chase will face, having appeared on the GSN version in 2014 and managing to overcome Chaser Mark Labbett as leader of his team. So if anyone knows how to play the game on both sides, it’s him.
Sara Haines has been a regular face on Daytime talk and news programs with her most recent work being on ABC News: She was part of Good Morning America‘s short-lived Strahan, Sara & Keke, and now, having returned to co-host The View, takes a similar route as show alum Meredith Vieira, who also ventured into the game genre by hosting the syndicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and 25 Words or Less.
The Chase, Series Premiere, Thursday, January 7, 9/8c, ABC