James Holzhauer, the sports bettor from Las Vegas who has been crushing Jeopardy! in the month of April and the subject of numerous stories and links in the mainstream media, had a close call and almost lost with only an $18 margin of victory for his 18th consecutive win.
Adam Levin, a sports information director from Massachusetts, gave Holzhauer a huge scare. Levin trailed by only $6,517 heading into Final Jeopardy! with $27,000 to Holzhauer’s $33,517. Levin bet his entire stack, minus $1, and correctly answered Final Jeopardy! category “Organizations.” Holzhauer nailed the final answer of “Chamber of Commerce” and bet just enough to secure a win in his 18th straight episode.
BEFORE FINAL JEOPARDY!
Jasmine Leonas $7,800
Adam Levin $27,000
James Holzhauer $33,517
AFTER FINAL JEOPARDY!
Jasmine Leonas $7,800
Adam Levin $53,999
James Holzhauer $54,017
The $18 margin of victory was by far Holzhauer’s closest to date. The pro sports bettor has now won $1,329,604. He’s more than halfway to catching Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings.
Back in 2004, Jennings set the daily record with $2.52 million during his epic 72-win streak. During that momentous run, the ratings for Jeopardy! jumped 20 percent. According to AdAge, the Nielsen ratings for Holzhauer’s first 12 shows was 10.3 million, or an uptick of approximately 10 percent.
Jeopardy! Link Dump
OnlineGambling.com and OG News brought you one of the original pieces on pro sports bettor Holzhauer after his first episode, and we’ve been following his thrilling run ever since. It took a while for the mainstream media to catch a whiff of this trivia phenom’s prowess. But now they’re paying attention, and putting out some pretty good reads:
The Man Who Solved ‘Jeopardy!’ [FiveThirtyEight]… The 538 crew breaks down some intriguing stats including a cool heatmap for the location of Daily Doubles.
How a Pro Gambler Cracked a US Game Show [BBC]… Sober analysis from British journalists on Holzhauer’s run.
Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for ‘Jeopardy!’ [Variety]… Hollywood rags take pot shots at Holzhauer.
Holzhauer Is Dominating ‘Jeopardy!’ But What’s Life Like After the Show? [NY Times]… It’s rare to see the NY Times profile a pro sports gambler, but here you go.
Big Bets and a Fast Buzzer: The Secret Sauce of James Holzhauer’s Jeopardy! Success [The Ringer]… Some fascinating detail on how he prepared for the show using a makeshift buzzer made of tape and a pen.
‘They’re going, Oh, s—‘; Inside the Jeopardy! James Juggernaut [ESPN]… Gambling writer David Purdhum uncovered a poker forum connection to Holzhauer.
Las Vegas Professional Sports Bettor James Holzhauer Wins Big in Jeopardy! Debut [OG News]… The first step on an epic journey by James Holzhauer.
Holzhauer Smashes Jeopardy! Record with $111K Day [OG News]… However, it only took four episodes to make Jeopardy! history.
James Holzhauer Moves into Top 5 All-Time Money Winners [OG News]… Holzhauer needed a mere ten games to rocket into the Top 4.
Holzhauer Chasing Ken Jennings as Jeopardy! GOAT After 10th Win [OG News]… Thanks to his aggressive wagering on Daily Doubles, Holzhauer is winning at faster rate than Jennings’ run in 2004.
Holzhauer with 14 Wins, Passes $1 Million on Jeopardy! [OG News]… Only two players won seven figures on Jeopardy!
And we cannot get enough of TheJeopardyFan.com for their Jeopardy statistics, deep analysis, and encyclopedic knowledge of the game show’s history.
Jeopardy! James Social Media
There’s also now numerous James Holzhauer fan sites (and even a few anti-James sites). One of the more intriguing is a Jeopardy James fan page on Facebook run by Holzhauer himself, where he explains how Guitar Hero helped develop his button-pressing skills, and why Monday’s episode featured no Final Jeopardy shoutout.
He also has his own Twitter page now — and @James_Holzhauer isn’t even verified… yet. (As far as we can tell, it’s really him.)
But ha ha, Ken Jennings has a blue checkmark already, and way more followers. He’s also seems to be having fun while recognizing that his stature as the greatest Jeopardy! player of all time could soon be eclipsed.
I don’t feel I get enough credit for making small, sensible Jeopardy wagers, which helped the show with its prize budget.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) April 23, 2019