For the second time in Jeopardy!‘s illustrious history, a competitor has eclipsed the $2 million mark in winnings. Nearly fifteen years after Ken Jennings became the first competitor in the show’s history to reach that winnings plateau, current champion James Holzhauer crossed that mile marker on Friday evening with his latest dominant performance.
Holzhauer picked up his 27th win in a row with perhaps his most dominant performance yet. Heading into Final Jeopardy, one opponent, Susan, had $1,800, while the other, Sam, sat at -$2,000. Holzhauer, meanwhile, was at $39,400, comfortably surpassing the $8,865 he needed on the evening to get to $2 million. Following a bet of $35,000 on Final Jeopardy, Holzhauer sat pretty with $74,400, officially giving him a total of $2,065,535.
Friday’s hefty win came despite Holzhauer’s inability to execute a key part of his strategy. While he found (and correctly answered) the first Daily Double, one opponent found both of them in Double Jeopardy. It did, however, give us a glimpse of how risky Holzhauer’s strategy is, because the opponent got both wrong. You can probably guess the contestant was Sam, who ended with -$2,000 and missed Final Jeopardy.
It was certainly a far less stressful episode than when he was pushed to the limit on Thursday. Holzhauer’s a bit behind Jennings’ record of $2,520,700, and he’s comfortably behind the all-time record of $4,688,436 that Brad Rutter holds with his various tournament wins, but if he keeps it up, it’s safe to assume that at least the former is in danger of falling sometime soon.