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Professional gambler raking in the cash on ‘Jeopardy!’

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A professional gambler with nerves of steel and an encyclopedic mind has just surpassed the $1 million mark in earnings on the popular US television quiz show “Jeopardy!” — in lightning quick fashion.

James Holzhauer, 34, is only the second contestant in the show’s decades-long history to pass that mark in regular season play, after the legendary Ken Jennings. Well, legendary for the show’s avid fans.

While it took Jennings, a computer scientist from Utah, 74 episodes to amass his fortune, Holzhauer has earned $1.06 million in just 14 appearances.

The gambler with the wide grin is now aiming to best the $2.52 million in prize money set by Jennings during his long string of victories in 2004.

“This is absolutely insane,” Jennings said on Twitter of the success of Holzhauer, who has repeatedly broken his own record for the most money won on a single night — it currently stands at $131,127.

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ESPN is covering Holzhauer’s episodes on its Chalk betting section. Rock bands are tweeting at him when he answers questions about them.

“Dream job: pro sports bettor and Jeopardy contestant,” Holzhauer tweeted.

– How does he do it? –

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“Jeopardy!” is one of the oldest television quiz shows in the United States, dating back initially to 1964, and to 1984 in its current format with host Alex Trebek.

It is a testament to the show’s beloved nature that when Trebek recently announced he was battling cancer, the news trended on Twitter.

Every night, three contestants are presented with trivia questions in various categories and asked to come up with the answer — in the form of a question.

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A recent example: “Rulers of this Empire included Darius I and his son Xerxes I.”

Holzhauer’s correct answer: “What is Persia?”

A monetary value is attached to each question, and the first contestant to press a buzzer gets to answer.

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Holzhauer has proved to be super fast on the buzzer.

GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Ethan Miller Professional sports gambler and “Jeopardy!” champion James Holzhauer of Nevada (C) has become so popular, he was invited to sound a siren in the Castle at a Vegas Golden Knights NHL playoff game on April 21, 2019

But more importantly, in racking up the wins, he has also employed a novel — but risky — strategy befitting his day job in Vegas.

He frequently zeroes in on the high-value questions first to quickly amass money, and then unhesitatingly bets big — really big — on his ability to offer the correct answer when he lands on a special Daily Double question.

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Explaining his success to ESPN, Holzhauer said: “There’s not a lot of professional gamblers out there.

“Even if people wanted to be, I don’t think a lot have the mindset that ‘Oh, I can just put in $10,000 and if I lose, OK, I move on with my game and keep playing the rest of the game with a level head.”

Holzhauer’s remarkable run has earned him legions of admirers — including Jennings, the man whose record he is threatening to break.

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“I’ve always wanted to see someone try Jeopardy! wagering this way who had the skills to back it up,” Jennings said.

“I don’t feel I get enough credit for making small, sensible Jeopardy wagers, which helped the show with its prize budget,” he quipped in another tweet.


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Trump’s Commerce Dept plagued by low morale and ‘disarray’ as chief Wilbur Ross falls asleep in meetings: report

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For months, there has been speculation in Washington, D.C. that Wilbur Ross, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the Trump Administration, is on his way out. Reports that Ross falls asleep in meetings don’t exactly instill confidence in his leadership. And Politico’s Daniel Lippman, in a troubling report, describes the Commerce Department as being in a state of chaos and disorganization.

Lippman reports that according to his sources, the 81-year-old Ross “spends much of his time at the White House” in order to “retain President Donald Trump’s favor.” And the Commerce Department is suffering, Lippman observes, because of Ross’ “penchant for managing upward at the expense of his staff.”

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When radioactive wastes aren’t radioactive wastes

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The U.S. Department of Energy wants to redefine what constitutes high-level radioactive waste, cutting corners on the disposal of some of the most dangerous and long-lasting waste byproduct on earth—reprocessed spent fuel from the nuclear defense program.

The agency announced in October 2018 plans for its reinterpretation of high-level radioactive waste (HLW), as defined in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, with plans to classify waste by its hazard level and not its origin. By using the idea of a reinterpretation of a definition, the DOE may be able to circumvent Congressional oversight. And in its regulatory filing, the DOE, citing the NWPA and Atomic Energy Act of 1954, said it has the authority to “interpret” what materials are classified as high-level waste based on their radiological characteristics. That is not quite true, as Congress specifically defined high-level radioactive waste in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, and any reinterpretation of that definition should trigger a Congressional response.

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Wendy Davis announces bid for Congress, will challenge US Rep. Chip Roy

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The former state senator is running for office for the first time since her unsuccessful campaign for Texas governor.

Former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis is running for Congress.

Early Monday morning, Davis announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Central Texas' 21st District. She is challenging U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, a freshman Republican from Austin.

She made her intentions known in a biographical video, narrated in part with archival footage from her late father, Jerry Russell.

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