‘Jeopardy!’ Champ James Holzhauer’s Daily Double Dominance Is The Evolution Of Recent Strategy

04.25.19 4 weeks ago

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James Holzhauer passed the $1,000,000 mark in Jeopardy! winnings earlier this week, and after 16 consecutive wins, he shows no signs of slowing down.

The pro sports bettor has brought an aggressive wagering style never before seen on America’s favorite trivia show, and in the process he’s shattering records for single-day winnings and is on pace to break Ken Jennings’ incredible mark of over $2.5 million won (in just about half as many shows). Holzhauer has weaponized the Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy to a comical degree, taking recent strategy employed by some great Jeopardy! champions and taking it to the Nth degree — a wagering strategy Jennings has admitted he wouldn’t have the “stomach” for.

Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight recently looked at the history of Daily Double wagering and noticed that, on average, players are risking $200 more now than in 2001 (the first season with the upped dollar amounts for each answer) and also finding the Daily Double one clue earlier (16th of each round, rather than 17th). Holzhauer, as Roeder notes, takes this trend to a completely new level, as he wagers, on average, $9.879 (through the first 14 games) and finds clues faster.

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