Jeopardy! gave away a major spoiler for the future of James Holzhauer, revealing this week when he will be exiting the show.
The Las Vegas sports gambler has been on a tear, winning 20 consecutive games and racking up more than $1 million in total earnings. But as host Alex Trebek revealed on Wednesday’s show, James will be gone from the show no later than next week. Trebek noted that in the attention of Holzhauer’s amazing run, they had neglected to tell viewers that next week’s slate of programs would be taken over by teachers for the 2019 Teachers Tournament.
That means that should Holzhauer win to end the week, viewers will get a hiatus from the money-hoarding champion.
There is already plenty of attention on James Holzhauer and speculation about just how long he will last. He has now notched 20 consecutive victories, moving closer to the all-time record total of $2.52 million. As The Atlantic reported, one former contestant thinks that Holzhauer will be hard-pressed to match Ken Jennings’ all-time record of 76 wins.
Michael Day gained fame for his aggressive buzzing in his 1980s appearances on Jeopardy!, prompting the show to introduce a system that locked out contestants who buzzed too soon. Day returned two more times to compete in the Tournament of Champions and Ultimate Tournament of Champions, and shared his thoughts on how long he thinks Holzhauer will last.
Day noted that Holzhauer’s incredibly aggressive style means he racks up some enormous winning totals, topping the $100,000 mark a number of times, but it also limits how long he might last. Past contestants have made smaller wagers on Daily Doubles, giving them a higher chance of winning while limiting their total earnings. James has gone the opposite way, betting big frequently.
That means he could be more and more susceptible to a big loss as his run continues, Day said.
“It seems like betting big on Daily Doubles—especially if you like the category—and risking a loss is what will maximize your expected winnings. You’ll likely have a shorter run, but you’ll win a lot more money per show,” wrote Day, who returned to Jeopardy! two more times, for the Tournament of Champions and Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
“Maybe it took a game-theory guy like Holzhauer to figure that out. With this strategy, I think he has a good shot at beating Jennings’s overall earnings, but I don’t see him winning anywhere near the 74 consecutive games Jennings won.”
James Holzhauer may be gone for a week from Jeopardy!, but his march toward Ken Jennings’ all-time marks continues.