Historic Jeopardy! Run


Jeopardy! is arguably one of the most well-known game shows of all time. Since it first aired in 1965, it has become a favorite for many people. Throughout the show’s 54-year history, it has seen a fair share of historical moments and unforgettable contestants.  However, the show has introduced us to a contestant with one of the most unprecedented winning streaks,not only on the show’s history, but in the history of any game show.  

James Holzhauer, 34, has secured the longest winning streak on the show’s history, counting 22 wins and earning $1,691,008 as of May 3, 2019. His impressive streak has also started on April 8. Jeopardy tends to bring in roughly 2 million viewers per week, but during Holzhauer’s winning streak, the show has averaged over 13 million viewers per week.  Ratings have gone through the roof since James began on the show. This type of attention has brought in the second wave of new fans for the show, especially younger viewers.  

However, the question remains, how has James Holzhauer been able to achieve such a marvelous accomplishment on a show that is supposed to test all your knowledge. The reason James has remained unbeaten for so long is that his winnings have grown so large that it has made it almost impossible to lose.  In the game’s Final Jeopardy question, contestants are allowed to wager a certain amount of points to potentially double the amount that they wagered if they answer correctly.  If they answer incorrectly, the contestants lose the earnings that they wagered. Since James has earned so much, he can wager a certain amount of points where if he gets the question wrong, he will still be in the lead by a considerable amount, and if he wins, it will only add on to his huge lead.  

He has 97% correctness when answering questions so he is rarely losing points. It turns out that James is no stranger to game shows. He has had multiple appearances on different game shows. In 2014, Holzhauer appeared on The Chase where he won the final round and earned $58,333.  He also appeared on the show 500 Questions, but he failed to earn any winnings.  It is also no surprise that James is an incredibly smart person too.  He graduated from the University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.  He is also a professional sports gambler in Las Vegas.

Ipswich high school tennis coach, John Tracy, is a huge Jeopardy Fan.  He recently said in an interview, “Yeah I’ve been watching the show for years and have never seen anything like it.  It’s practically a guarantee that he’ll get the answers right and the other contestants look so frustrated.” Student Hannah Scruton, who watches the show occasionally with her grandparents has said: “you know most of the time I get really bored of watching but I’ve seen a couple of episodes with James on the show and they are very entertaining to watch.”  Currently, Jeopardy is on a two-week break from normal competition featuring a special “Teacher Tournament”, but starting next Monday, James will try and continue his already historic streak.