James Holzhauer is the reigning champ of Jeopardy! having secured over $1 million in winnings throughout his 14-episode stint on the show. He’s beaten several records, including one for making the most money in the shortest amount of time and another for surpassing $1 million in total winnings faster than any contestant in the show’s history. Thus far, no one has even come close to matching him and he has continuously dominated over his competitors in every episode. Many believe that he is well on his way to beat the most successful Jeopardy! champ of all time, Ken Jennings, according to Vulture.
Jennings first came on to the show in 2004 and lasted for a whopping 74 episodes. Throughout his lengthy stint on the show, he took home over $2 million. A fan of Jennings recently reached out to him in a tweet, praising him for wagering $69 in Final Jeopardy while he was on the show. Jennings responded to say that the rules have been changed recently and Jeopardy! contestants are no longer allowed to wager the suggestive number.
“This is officially forbidden on Jeopardy now, as of last year. Not even joking,” he said.
Holzhauer confirmed on Twitter that $69 is, in fact, a banned wager. There are actually four additional number sequences that contestants are not permitted to wager due to obvious undertones or their suggestive nature.
— Eddie Timanus (@EddieTimanus) April 25, 2019
“Actually, there are five banned wagers. This is probably the most innocuous one,” Holzhauer said.
He didn’t reveal what these other banned numbers are but we can certainly guess. Twitter users commented on Holzhauer’s tweet guessing that 420 or 666 are likely some of the blacklisted sequences.
Holzhauer is a professional sports bettor from Las Vegas who not only has wide trivia knowledge but understands how to play the game in the smartest way possible. His career has certainly provided him with the experience necessary to make thoughtful gambles and understand just how much money to put on the line. But what is his secret? He says he takes full advantage of every Daily Double he gets and Final Jeopardy.
“I guess I’d call it strategically aggressive. I didn’t model my strategy after anyone in particular. My theory is that you need to be betting very aggressively on Daily Doubles and in Final Jeopardy. A lot of people bet big when their backs are against the wall, but people don’t realize … everyone thinks, ‘Oh, I want to go into Final Jeopardy with some chance of winning‘. But that’s not the best strategy.”