While Wheel of Fortune has experienced some unfortunate moments in recent memory, Jeopardy! got a historic one on Tuesday night. James Holzhauer, a professional sports bettor from Las Vegas, set the new single-day win total for Jeopardy! on Tuesday night, taking home a whopping $110,914.
The previous single-day mark for money earned in a Jeopardy! round — $77,000 — was set on Sept. 19, 2010 by Roger Craig. Holzhauer, who had already been a three-day champion by the time Tuesday’s episode aired, now has made $244,365 during his run. He said from the start he was gunning for the mark.
“I said all along that I wanted to break Roger Craig’s one-game record and I did it,” Holzhauer said, according to a release.
As he noted, the $110,914 total wasn’t by chance, either — it’s meant to symbolize the birthday of his daughter: November 9, 2014. Holzhauer actually could have reached the mark earlier in his run, as Jeopardy! noted in a video it posted on Twitter earlier in the week.
It certainly seems like they knew this was coming. The first round was beer-themed, and James cruised to a lead against Arianna and Sameer.
By the end of the first round, he was at $13,000 heading into the Double Jeopardy round. He then jumped up to 29,200 after wagering everything on the first Daily Double of the round.
To say Holzhauer dominated is an understatement. He controlled the board nearly the entire way, and no one tested him throughout the episode. He had 46,500 when he found the second Daily Double under the Ancient Architecture category, wagering $25,000. He, of course, got it, making it certain that unless he somehow botched the Final Jeopardy question he would win his fourth day in a row.
Physics Terms was the Final Jeopardy category, and at $72,600 he only needed to add $5100 to his total to match the one-day record. He went much higher than that, getting “quantum leap” correct and wagering $38,314 to reach his historic total.
And yes, it seems like Holzhauer knows his memes.
Alex Trebek openly asked if it’s too early to compare Holzhauer to Ken Jennings, the most-winningest contestant in Jeopardy history. One more win for Holzhauer will put him in the illustrious 5-game winner category and ensure he’s back for future Tournament of Champions, but he’s already got his place in Jeopardy! history secure.