True greatness makes the impressive feel downright ordinary. Russell Westbrook’s current run of three straight seasons averaging a triple-double is a good example of this. What was once considered a legendary mark is something critics have actually claimed may be too easy.
James Holzhauer, the current champion on Jeopardy!, is in the process of breaking what fans of the trivia show consider a good performance on the show. The 34-year-old professional sports bettor currently holds the four highest scores in show history and is second on all-time winnings, with $771,920 won over 11 wins on the show.
The way Holzhauer plays is well-documented, but the best way to describe it is that he attacks the game. He builds scores quickly and then searches for Daily Doubles, wagering everything to double his score and build insurmountable leads. He then goes for the gumption in Final Jeopardy, adding to his already impressive scores to raise his total winnings in a way no other contestant on the show ever has.
He’s set and already broken his own single-day total, and he’s made winning $50,000 feel downright ordinary. On Thursday’s episode, for example, Holzhauer won $74,133, a few thousand dollars shy of what was the highest ever single-day total in the show’s history before he showed up. It felt downright mundane considering what he’d already accomplished.
Ken Jennings, who currently holds the record for most consecutive games won (74) and total winnings (more than $2.5 million) has been compared to the current champion quite a bit, and the greatest champion in Jeopardy! history is certainly impressed by Holzhauer’s run. Jennings retweeted an article about his current run and called Holzhauer’s performance and play style “absolutely insane.”
Given the buzz that Holzhauer has generated and the way he’s dominated, many have already speculated about whether Holzhauer will supplant Jennings in total winnings or his legendary win total on the show. And Jennings has weighed in on that as well: a lot of people are keeping the loosely-guarded secret about tapings that happened a long time ago. So bettor beware.
Jennings has tweeted a lot about Holzhauer’s recent run and he seems genuinely thrilled that he’s playing the game like it’s never been played before. He made it clear: Jeopardy! is lucky to have a champion like him.