"Jeopardy!" champion James Holzhauer won $2.065 million on Friday night, putting him even closer to all-time champion Ken Jennings $2.5 million record. With an average pot of about $76,000, Holzhauer will surpass Jennings' $2.52 million record in about seven more games if he keeps the streak going.
Holzhauer got "What is Sun Valley?" as the Final Jeopardy! question, with total winnings for Friday at $74,400. On Thursday, he won by the smallest amount yet,
Holzhauer, a professional gambler who lives in Las Vegas, is known for both starting out at the bottom of the board (aka the high dollar amounts), seeking out the Daily Double and betting it all. He now holds the top 10 slots on the show's Hall of Fame page for the most winnings.
"About a month and a half ago, the one-day record for winnings in an episode of 'Jeopardy!' was $77,000," Trebek said on Thursday. "That record had stood for many, many years. Our current champion, James, is averaging more than $77,000 per show. Every. Day. Scary stuff."
Although ratings for "Jeopardy!" have jumped during Holzhauer's run, he has also sparked a range of reactions, from admiration to criticism for "breaking" the game with his aggressive betting strategy.
Jennings said he's rooting for Holzhauer to keep winning. And the producers of "Jeopardy!" are likely hoping for the same. The show's viewership has risen during his winning streak, making it the most-watched syndicated show for three straight weeks. When the program recently aired a "Teacher Tournament" without Holzhauer, its ratings plunged 27%.