The dominance of James Holzhauer on Jeopardy! earlier this year was a remarkable stretch of game show history, but another contestant is quietly making a big impact on the quiz show himself.
While many are waiting for Holzhauer’s return to the Jeopardy! stage in November’s Tournament of Champions, Season 36’s regular play has seen an impressive emergence from a new long-term champion. Jason Zuffranieri, a math teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico, us racing up the all-time winnings board for Jeopardy!
Zuffranieri ended Season 35 as the show’s champion and hasn’t lost since new episodes started airing earlier this month. And though he’s not setting single-game records for huge cash hauls, the money is certainly adding up for him. Here’s the Final Jeopardy from when he cracked the $400k mark.
That may not sound like a lot of money considering the run that James Holzhauer went on earlier in the year, getting very close to Ken Jennings’ all-time regular season record. But considering, well, those are the only contestants who now have made more money than Zuffranieri, it’s clear that he’s in good company already.
“Jason is a force to be reckoned with,” Alex Trebek says in a video the game show posted to YouTube this weekend.
On Friday, Zuffranieri won his 16th straight game, running away with it before a Final Jeopardy where he bet just $52. One thing he hasn’t done is shouted out a Super Bowl-winning team, but it looks like if he hangs around a bit longer he’ll keep climbing the all-time money leaderboard. Not bad for a few weeks’ work.