Las Vegas Gambler Sets Single-Game Jeopardy Money Record

James Holzhauer Jeopardy Record

James Holzhauer wrote a 2012 essey on gambling called, “Diary of a Mad Sports Bettor”.

Pro gambler James Holzhauer set the single-game record in his fourth appearance on the Jeopardy trivia game show this week. Holzhauer, a Las Vegas-based sports bettor, collected $110,914 on the April 9 showing of Jeopardy.

The previous record for one game was $77,000 (Roger Craig), which held since 2010. During his first three wins as a Jeopardy contestant, Holzhauer had won a combined $130,000. His four-day total stands at $244,365 (and counting).

James Holzhauer said his goal was to break Roger Craig’s record. After the April 9 show, he said, “I said all along that I wanted to break Roger Craig’s one-game record and I did it.”

He made his mark by “going all in” on the Daily Double question at a time when he had a substantial lead. Most of the time, contestants with a significant lead play it safe in the same situations.

When the first Daily Double appeared in the Double Jeopardy round, he answered correctly and built his total to $29,200. On the second Daily Double question, he wagered another $25,000 to add another huge amount to his totla.

James Holzhauer’s Single-Game Jeopardy Record

In the Final Jeopardy round, Holzhauer’s total was $72,600. He wagered $38,314 to finish with $110,914. He had $98,000 more than the second place finisher.

Fans now wonder whether James Holzhauer will be the “next great champion”. The term is used for a mystery figure teased in Jeopardy promos back in March.

The Next Great Champion

Alek Trebek added to the speculation by signing off on the April 9 shows with the words: “Is it too soon to make Ken Jennings comparisons?”

Ken Jennings is a legendary Jeopardy champion. He won 74 straight contests back in 2004. Along with fellow Jeopardy! great Brad Rudder, Ken Jennings has appeared in several Jeopardy! events, including the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, the Battle of the Decades, and the IBM Challenge (versus Watson).

Holzhauer, a native of Illinois, first appeared on the April 4 broadcast and continues the defense of his title on May 10th. Each day, the reigning champion faces two new challengers.

Jeopardy Reddit Comments

The moderator of the most popular sub-Reddit on Jeopardy, u/jaysjep2, described James Holzhauer’s combination of skills. The moderator said, “James has the knowledge, buzzer skills, is willing to gamble and understands the strategy of the game. He is without question the ‘next great champion’ the show has been teasing in its promos.”

Therefore, it appears even hardcore Jeopardy fans believe the Las Vegas sports gambler could be the next legend of Jeopardy!.

Buzzer skills are underrated. When Ken Jennings and Brad Rudder faced IBM’s artificial intelligence, Watson, in the IBM Challenge, each of the Jeopardy greats matched Watson in trivia knowledge. Watson’s great advantage was buzzing in quicker than human reflexes allow.

James Holzhauer’s Secret to Jeopardy Success

Those wanting to play Jeopardy and win might want to know James Holzhauer’s secret. In his hometown newspaper, the Naperville Sun, Mr. Holzhauer explained the secret to winning at Jeopardy!:

“My big secret for studying subjects I find uninteresting is to check out the children’s section of the library. The books there are filled with pictures and fun facts, and they’re a great way to learn the nuts and bolts of any subject.”

“I have a reputation for only pursuing things I enjoy, but working very hard to be the best at those. Thus I could go to the national finals in MATHCOUNTS in junior high while earning a C in my math class for refusing to do homework.”

James Holzhauer graduated Naperville High School in 2001. He won 1st place in the Illinois State Finals Academic Challenge and 1st place alongside the Junior Engineering Technological Society competition team.

Diary of a Mad Sports Bettor

Holzhauer went on to become a successful handicapper in Las Vegas. Handicappers find a betting advantage in the betting lines and prop bets at a sportsbook. The skills of succeeding at sports betting and Jeopardy are similar, because it requires finding the edge.

In Diary of a Mad Sports Bettor“, his 2012 essay on sports betting, Holzhauer said, “Placing winning sports bets often hinges on an information advantage. The problem is that most publicly available information is already factored into the betting odds. Holzhauer talked about finding information that most of the public doesn’t know to gain an advantage.”