James Holzhauer Secures His 26th ‘Jeopardy!’ Win After Facing Tougher Competition Than Usual

One of James Holzhauer's competitors gave him a run for his money on Thursday evening's episode.

James Holzhauer rides a rollercoaster.
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One of James Holzhauer's competitors gave him a run for his money on Thursday evening's episode.

For weeks now, reigning Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer has dominated episode after episode. He has secured an astounding amount of winnings, quickly making his way to a $2 million total, and his streak doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.

Whether you’re a fan of the 34-year-old sports bettor from Las Vegas or not, you’ve got to admire his consistency. He rarely misses a question, always takes full advantage of the Daily Doubles, and nearly always surges ahead of his fellow competitors within mere minutes of the show.

On Thursday evening, he enjoyed his 26th win, taking home $52,108. It was actually a fairly narrow win, at least in comparison to the rest of the games he’s played in, according to The New York Post.

Nearly every episode Holzhauer has played in has been a complete runaway. Some viewers have complained that this common trend between all of the recent episodes has taken away some of the entertainment aspect of the show. Nevertheless, they didn’t have anything to complain about on Thursday evening, as it looked like it was certainly possible for Holzhauer’s domination to come to an end.

Midway through the game, the show’s longtime host, Alex Trebek, took a second to address Holzhauer’s impressive winning streak. He recalled the records that the sports bettor continues to beat nearly episode, making him an extremely tough competitor. At this point, he will be going down in Jeopardy! history.

“About a month and a half ago, the one-day record for winnings in an episode of Jeopardy! was $77,000. That record had stood for many, many years. Our current champion, James, is averaging more than $77,000 per show. Every. Day. Scary stuff. The gentlemen have owned the game, [but] the game is not over yet. It’s not a runaway for a change.”

Nate Scheffey, a technology consultant from New York City, actually gave Holzhauer a run for his money, making it a less predictable game. He was trailing the champ throughout much of the game, but not by a wide margin. At one point, Scheffey answered a Daily Double correctly. Had he wagered more, he would have had the chance to surpass Holzhauer’s score and maybe secure a win. Unfortunately, he fell just a little bit short.

By the time they reached Final Jeopardy, Scheffey had earned $25,800 and Holzhauer had $31,200. Both contestants did answer the final question of the game correctly, but Scheffey hadn’t wagered enough to beat Holzhauer.