Professional Sports Bettor Sets Jeopardy! Single-Day Record

Professional Sports Bettor Sets Jeopardy! Single-Day Record

A professional sports bettor is setting records on “Jeopardy!” and appears to be the next great champion in the popular game show’s history.

James Holzhauer won $110,914 during the “Jeopardy!” episode that aired on Tuesday, topping the previous single-day record by more than $30,000, according to a press release issued by the show. The previous single-day high mark was held by contestant Roger Craig, who won $77,000 on Sept. 14, 2010.

“I said all along that I wanted to break Roger Craig’s one-game record and I did it,” Holzhauer said.

Holzhauer lives in Las Vegas and on the show host Alex Trebek noted that 34-year-old was a professional sports gambler, then asking Holzhauer: “What does that mean, exactly?”

“Oh, I’ll bet on anything,” Holzhauer replied. “Why, are you looking for a little action on the [Stanley] Cup this year? I like the [Tampa Bay] Lightning.”

“Oh, really? No, I’m not looking for any action whatsoever,” Trebek said. “I go to Vegas for the shows, not the gambling.”

Holzhauer’s Sports Betting Start

Holzhauer told ESPN.com that he began betting on sports in 2006, initially focusing on baseball futures before turning his attention to wagering on basketball, football and hockey.

"Now, I focus largely on in-game betting, where the odds-maker often struggles to put an accurate line with only few seconds to think about it," Holzhauer told ESPN.com. "I think my work is similar to an investment bank, except that I'm the analyst, trader, fund manager and day trader all into one."

>>>Wondering what it’s like to be a professional sports bettor? Read more here.

On Tuesday, Holzhauer broke Craig’s single-day winnings record by correctly answering the clue in Final Jeopardy!: “Ironically, a metaphor meaning a huge step forward, but this 2-word process only occurs on a subatomic scale." Holzhauer had wagered $38,314 and answered: “What is quantum leap?”

Holzhauer’s $110,914 in winnings Tuesday carried added significance, as the numerical combination matched the date his daughter was born: Nov. 9, 2014 (11/09/14).

Tuesday’s victory was Holzhauer fourth in a row on “Jeopardy!” He first appeared last Thursday and in each win he has handily defeated the competition, correctly answering 129 of his first 133 attempts. His four-day win total sits at $244,365 entering Wednesday’s show.

Holzhauer’s dominance is starting to earn him comparisons to legendary “Jeopardy!” contestant Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in 2004 and won more than $2.5 million during that stretch. Jennings holds the records for both consecutive wins and total dollar amount accumulated in “Jeopardy!” history.

Trebek referenced Jennings iconic status after Holzhauer’s record-setting win on Tuesday, “Is it too soon to start thinking about Ken Jennings comparisons?” Trebek asked.



A Game Show Veteran

And “Jeopardy!” isn’t Holzhauer’s first time competing on a television quiz show, according to The Washington Post. He was previously a contestant on Game Show Network’s “The Chase,” where Holzhauer helped his team win $175,000 by answering various trivia questions in a 2014 taping.

He was also a contestant on “500 Questions,” a game show that aired on ABC from 2015 to 2016.

“Jeopardy!,” in its current form as a daily syndicated television show, began airing in 1984. It has broadcasted more than 7,000 episodes during that time.

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