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James Holzhauer

James Holzhauer

James Holzhauer is an American game show contestant and professional sports gambler residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is best known for holding the single-game record on Jeopardy! ($131,127) on April 17, 2019. [1]

Holzhauer is currently the reigning champion, with a grand total of $1,691,008 won on the game show.

Early Life & Education

James Holzhauer's high school yearbook photo

James Holzhauer's high school yearbook photo

James Holzhauer is a native of Naperville, Illinois. According to his father, Juergen Holzhauer, James excelled in math and science at an early age. At 4 years old, he was written up in the Chicago Tribune for his math. In junior high school, he was on the Mathcounts team.

Holzhauer then attended Naperville North High School where he excelled academically and competed in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering state competition. He won state championships during his junior and senior years, including a first place victory in physics and second place finish in math.

Holzhauer was also a member of the chess team, the Academic Bowl, and Amnesty International.

After high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in mathematics.

During his college days, Holzhauer enjoyed playing online poker. He jokingly claims it is is his "real major" because he rarely attended class.




After succeeding in online poker during college, James Holzhauer started his own strategy website where he eventually got his sports betting bankroll. He started betting on baseball games, but expanded to American football, hockey, and basketball.

He eventually stepped away from gambling after meeting his wife, Melissa, and started a family with her.

While doing so, he started his own pet project by learning as much trivia as he could.

He would check out children's library books on subjects of which he was not knowledge enough anytime he felt he did not know enough about that particular subject.

His strategy was to find the most basic level of content to read on the matter.

Game Show Career

The Chase

On September 2, 2014, Holzhauer competed in The Chase. Mark Labbett (best known as "The Beast" on the show) said, "Professionally speaking, he gave me the worst whooping I've ever had."


James Holzhauer Beats Roger Craig’s 1-Day Record!

James Holzhauer Beats Roger Craig’s 1-Day Record!

James Holzhauer: New Single-Game Record | JEOPARDY!

James Holzhauer: New Single-Game Record | JEOPARDY!

James Holzhauer began competing on Jeopardy! on April 4, 2019. He is known for placing wagers that represent dates that are memorable to him, including birthdays and wedding anniversaries of loved ones.

On April 9, 2019 Holzhauer broke the single game record, winning $110,914.

Amazingly, Holzhauer strategically positioned his winnings to match his daughter's birthday, October 9, 2014 (10/09/14).

Holzhauer has competed in ten Jeopardy!

games as of April 17, 2019, winning a total of $566,660.

He holds the second highest winnings in the history of *Jeopardy!*after Ken Jennings. [1]

On Thursday, April 18, 2019, Holzhauer broke his own single-game winnings mark with $131,127 to capture his 10th straight victory on the game show.

He became the 8th player in Jeopardy! history to accomplish the feat; Ken Jennings holds with all-time record with 74 straight wins.

He has won $851,926 during his 12-day streak and owns the five most prolific single-day performances ever on the show.

On April 19, 2019, he won $80,006, which is fifth all-time in one-day earnings on Jeopardy! He now owns the top five one-day totals on the game show and six of the top eight.

On April 22, 2019, Holzhauer won $90,812, which is third all-time in one-day earnings on Jeopardy!

On April 23, 2019, he won $118,816, which is the second-highest one-day total of all time.

He also passed the $1,000,000 total winnings mark in 14 games; it took Ken Jennings 30 games to reach the same milestone.

On April 26, 2019, Holzhauer announced on Facebook that Jeopardy!'s show producers informed him that the rules have changed and he is no longer allowed to give shoutouts on Final Jeopardy. April 29 became the first day Holzhauer did not give a shoutout for his written answer.

In early May 2019, the teachers tournament on Jeopardy! began, which put James Holzhauer's winning streak on hold. He will defend his title on May 20, 2019.

Game #DateRightWrongWinningsAnswer (Final Jeopardy)
1April 4, 2019321$43,680What isGreat Salt Lake?Happy birthday Jack
2April 5, 2019231$38,926What isBerlin<3 Happy Anniversary M!
3April 8, 2019311$50,845Who are theMunchkins?Happy Birthday Pops <3
4April 9, 2019431$110,914What isquantum leapHappy Birthday Booger <3
5April 10, 2019322$54,322Who are theRomanovsHappy Birthday Pete <3
6April 11, 2019253$27,190Who isMadonnaHappy Birthday Scarlett
7April 12, 2019330$89,158What isFahrenheit 451Happy Bday Scarlett <3
8April 15, 2019382$45,444What isIwo Jimaflag raising hbd Michael
9April 16, 2019432$106,181What isCrimeaHappy birthday no one!
10April 17, 2019410$131,127Who isAtticus FinchThis is for you Granny <3
11April 18, 2019400$74,133Who isAquamanHi Katie & Jo Jo <3
12April 19, 2019364$80,006What areGeorge,Edward&HenryHappy Birthday Katy <3
13April 22, 2019370$90,812Who isLord Elgin?Hi Zach Emma & Lilly <3 <3
14April 23, 2019411$118,816Who areU.S. Grant& R.E. LeeHi Autumn <3
15April 24, 2019371$73,621What isBermuda Trianglehi Benjamin
16April 25, 2019361$90,812What isEuropium?Hi Jessa <3
17April 26, 2019342$49,600What isDeerslayer?Hi Tuesday
18April 29, 2019281$54,017What isaChamber of Commerce?
19April 30, 2019440$96,726What isBonn?
20May 1, 2019430$101,682What isDeath?
21May 2, 2019364$80,615What isThe Glass Menagerie
22May 3, 2019440$82,381What iscrowdfunding?

Personal Life

Holzhauer is married to Melissa Sassin Holzhauer, who also appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The couple have a young daughter together and got married in 2012. [1]


Citation Linkusatoday.com'Jeopardy!' contestant James Holzhauer second only to legend Ken Jennings in winnings
Apr 16, 2019, 10:05 PM
Apr 16, 2019, 10:07 PM
Citation Linkfacebook.comJames Holzhauer on Facebook
Apr 16, 2019, 10:41 PM
Citation Linkdistractify.comThe New 'Jeopardy!' Champion Is Breaking Major Records, and the Internet Is Obsessed
Apr 16, 2019, 10:53 PM
Citation Linkespn.comJeopardy champ adds 131k perfect game
Apr 18, 2019, 7:05 PM
Citation Linkcnn.comeopardy' contestant James Holzhauer breaks record again
Apr 18, 2019, 7:06 PM
Apr 18, 2019, 7:12 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comThe Ultra-Champs (10+ Game Winners)
Apr 18, 2019, 7:39 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comJames Holzhauer's Jeopardy!statstistics
Apr 18, 2019, 7:41 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comToday’s Final Jeopardy – April 19, 2019; James Holzhauer earns fifth-highest one-day total
Apr 19, 2019, 5:57 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comToday’s Final Jeopardy – April 22, 2019
Apr 22, 2019, 6:24 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comToday’s Final Jeopardy – April 23, 2019
Apr 23, 2019, 7:52 PM
Citation Linkthejeopardyfan.comToday’s Final Jeopardy – April 24, 2019
Apr 24, 2019, 3:17 PM
Citation Linkabc7chicago.comFather cheers on Naperville native James Holzhauer's record-breaking 'Jeopardy!' run
Apr 24, 2019, 9:23 PM
Citation Linkyoutube.comJames Holzhauer on YouTube
Apr 24, 2019, 9:37 PM
Citation Linkfacebook.comJames Holzhauer's Facebook post saying that Jeopardy!is now longer allowing shoutouts on Final Jeopardy
Apr 29, 2019, 11:17 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comJames Holzhauer Beats Roger Craig’s 1-Day Record!| JEOPARDY!
Apr 16, 2019, 10:34 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comJames Holzhauer’s Streak: 5 Wins!| JEOPARDY!
Apr 16, 2019, 10:34 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comJeopardy - James Holzhauer's Record-Breaking Game
Apr 16, 2019, 10:35 PM
Citation Linkwww.youtube.comJames Holzhauer: New Single-Game Record | JEOPARDY!
Apr 18, 2019, 7:13 PM