Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Twenty-seven games later, James Holzhauer at last has Ken Jennings in sight. The 34-year-old professional sports gambler making headlines for his methodical strategy won Friday’s game as well, adding a $74,400 win to his cumulative total—and bringing that number up to $2,065,535.
That makes him only one of two players to ever reach $2 million in total winnings, following Ken Jennings, whose earnings capped out at $2,520,700 in 2004. But while Jennings accumulated as much in 74 games, Holzhauer has crossed the $2 million barrier in only 27. Jeopardy! also shared a clip of the bemused Holzhauer, looking relatively unfazed by his latest milestone.
As has been well-documented, Holzhauer achieved his meteoric success through a strategy of seeking higher-value answers first, and betting big on Daily Doubles once found. He got to know the game show by watching it with his grandmother in his earlier years, and has spoken with past Jeopardy! winners Jennings, Fritz Holznagel, Roger Craig, and Buzzy Cohen for advice.
Holzhauer very nearly ended his streak with his 26th game on Wednesday, when he was only $5,400 ahead of challenger Nate Scheffey before the last question in final jeopardy. Friday’s win puts him that much closer to overturning Ken Jennings’ all-time winnings total, which could happen in relatively few games—though Holzhauer’s winning streak will still be second to Jennings’ 74 for some time.