Is Ken Jennings’ game show legacy in “Jeopardy!”?
As of Monday, contestant James Holzhauer, a sports gambler by profession, has earned $460,479. This puts the 34-year-old behind only Jennings, per a tweet Monday from the official account for the program hosted by Alex Trebek.
Holzhauer has already left one record in his wake. On April 9 he set a new high for single-game earnings, racking up $110,914, surpassing former contestant Roger Craig. While Holzhauer’s record-breaking one-day total may seem random, as the current champ explained, 11/9/14 is his daughter’s birthday.
Jennings is a memorable “Jeopardy!” legend who made a splash with his 2004 show debut. He boasts 74 consecutive wins which resulted in $2,520,700, according to the show’s website.
Following Trebek’s revelation that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March, Jennings recalled a fond memory to Vulture.
“I went into the after-party a little bit shell-shocked,” Jennings remembered after losing a “Jeopardy!” tournament in 2014. “As Alex was on his way out, he walked by me and I just wanted to say, ‘Hi, thank you,’ and how much he meant to me. So I said, ‘Alex, I don’t know what to say.’ I literally couldn’t say anything from my mouth,” he said.
“He just looked at me with that reassuring, avuncular gaze and put a hand on my shoulder and went, ‘I know, I know,’ Jennings recalled. ‘”Like, ‘We’re men. You don’t have to say how much me and “Jeopardy!” mean to you, I understand what you mean.’ And then he walked out of the party.”
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