James Holzhauer became a Jeopardy! legend on Tuesday night when he won more than $110,000 in a single episode, setting a new record for the legendary trivia game show.
Holzhauer has won more than $244,000 in four days on Jeopardy! and gotten an absurd 129 out of 133 answers correct that he’s buzzed in on. Many wonder what one does for a living that would yield such a wide array of knowledge, and the answer to that is professional sports gambling.
Yes, Holzhauer makes his living in Las Vegas as a sports bettor, using his degree in math to find edges in lines. ESPN’s David Purdum spoke with Holzhauer via email recently, where the Jeopardy! champion and sharp explained his overall philosophy, and why he now focuses on in-game betting across various sports.
“Now, I focus largely on in-game betting, where the oddsmaker often struggles to put an accurate line with only few seconds to think about it,” Holzhauer told ESPN in an email. “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.”
That’s the approach of most pro sports bettors, many of whom aren’t massive fans of a sport necessarily, and rely on their systems and the math to find the edges for them. Holzhauer is clearly brilliant and found a way to make lots of money with that, from wagering on sports to dominating TV game shows.