'Jeopardy!': James Holzhauer snares 22nd win, but will take the next two weeks off
James Holzhauer snagged his 22nd "Jeopardy!" win on Friday's edition of the quiz show. But fans will have to wait two more weeks to see if his streak continues.
Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, won $82,381 on Friday's show, for a total of $1,691,008. He holds onto a solid second-place title for the most consecutive wins, although reigning champ Ken Jennings has won 74 times, for a $2.5 million haul. (Champions were limited to five appearances until 2003.)
Monday, the annual "Jeopardy!" Teachers Tournament will sideline Holzhauer for two weeks. He'll return May 20 to compete for his 23rd victory, and more cash.
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Holzhauer recently explained his strategy in a Q&A with The New York Times. Unlike most players, he picks the highest-value clues first.
"You can see as soon as I get control of the board in the first game, I’m going for the $1,000 clues whenever I have the opportunity," he said, likening his approach to a poker strategy.
"There are big advantages to having a lot of chips early on in a poker tournament. You can make plays that other people can’t."
Eddie Timanus, a five-time "Jeopardy!" winner who compiles the college coaches polls for USA TODAY Sports, describes Holzhauer as "a game-changer."
Timanus notes Holzhauer's mastery of the signaling buzzer, but says he really stands out in his aggressive bidding.
"While many players, myself included, prefer to play categories from top to bottom and try to stick to them, Holzhauer clears the big-dollar clues first," Timanus says. "Thanks to his ability to ring in first consistently and rarely miss, he usually has a considerable total built up by the time he uncovers a Daily Double. He finds most of them since he’s able to maintain control of the board for long stretches, and, as we've seen, he's not afraid to bet big."
His overall assessment of Holzhauer the player: "Speed, instinct, confidence and knowledge — pretty SICK, wouldn’t you say?"