(TODAY) – James Holzhauer’s winning streak on “Jeopardy!” continues!
The 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas won his 27th consecutive game on Friday, surpassing $2 million in winnings. He is the second player to ever cross the two-million-dollar mark, ending the week with $2,065,535 in total.
On Friday’s episode, Holzhauer correctly answered “What is Sun Valley ?” in response to the clue: “Astronomy buffs visit Idaho for the USA’s first Dark Sky Reserve. Oddly, part of it is this resort area with a bright name.” Holzhauer later admitted to host Alex Trebek that he had almost gotten the response wrong, having crossed out “Las Vegas Strip” as his answer. “I didn’t think that was in Idaho,” he told Trebek.
Holzhauer, who dreamed of being on the show since watching it with his beloved granny, is inching closer to beating “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jenning’ all-time record of over $2.5 million during his record streak of 74 winning games in 2004. Jennings has since won over $3 million on “Jeopardy!”
Known for his aggressive playing style, Holzhauer has impressed Jennings with his large wagers during Daily Double and Final Jeopardy. “He’s thinking about the game in a whole different way, and I never would have had the stomach to make some of those bets he’s making,” Jennings told TODAY’s Natalie Morales.
Holzhauer has been known to bet dollar amounts that correspond to important dates — he once wagered $9,812 because he got married on September 8, 2012 and bet $11,914 in honor of his daughter’s birthday.
While targeting the top-dollar answers on the bottom of the board first, he has put himself in line to potentially become the show’s biggest winner ever.
All of this excitement about the long-running game show comes as host Alex Trebek, 78, battles stage 4 pancreatic cancer . The legendary host has stepped up to help fund pancreatic cancer research and he has updated his fans, saying that he is doing well and that he plans to continue working. “I’m feeling good, I’m continuing with my therapy and we — by we, the staff — is already working on our next season, the 36th year of ‘Jeopardy!’,” he said in April.
With the focus on Holzhauer’s quick buzzer finger, the show’s fans have good reason to tune in Monday to see just how far this gambling man will go as he faces off against new competitors.