Since James Holzhauer’s initial ascendence to the Jeopardy! throne, fans have charted how he stacks up to Ken Jennings. The current Jeopardy! champion cracked $2 million in earnings on Friday, winning his 27th straight episode in runaway fashion. That puts him in elite company: just Brad Rutter and Jennings have ever made more than $2 million on the show, and in Rutter’s case he accumulated that over the course of various tournaments and other appearances.
There’s a reason Jennings and Holzhauer are constantly compared: they have similar Coryat scores — which is a number that measures how much money a contestant wins on the show minus wagering. A high Coryat score indicates dominance on the show, and through much of the early games, Jennings and Holzhauer were nearly identical. Holzhauer’s $30,556 to Jennings’ $27,104 is starting to give the current champ a bit of an edge.
But there are a lot of numbers to parse with Jeopardy!, and the show released a video over the weekend that broke down just how Holzhauer and Jennings stack up.
A fun note here is that all the clips from the Jennings episode were actually from his 27th appearance on the show — which puts him at the same point as Holzhauer’s run on the show as of Friday. And if you’ve been following Holzhauer’s assault on the game show circuit the past month or so, you know that Holzhauer’s betting averages are the big difference between the nearly $2.5 million Jennings won over 74 episodes and how Holzhauer has already cracked $2 million over less than 30 appearances.
It seems increasingly likely Holzhauer will pass Jennings’ career earnings mark soon, and his assault on the total win streak would come next season. Still, Holzhauer’s performances have been impressive and continue to put ground between his and Jennings averages. Monday’s win, his 28th, gave him another $130,000 to his total. And as Thursday’s episode showed, Holzhauer will be extremely tough to beat, which makes it hard to believe he will be losing anytime soon.