The New 'Jeopardy!' Champion Is Breaking Major Records, and the Internet Is Obsessed

'Jeopardy!' champion James Holzhauer officially holds the second highest winnings in the history of the game show. Ken Jennings is the only other 'Jeopardy!' contestant with higher earnings. So far, Holzhauer has racked up $460,479...and he's still going.

Gina Vaynshteyn - Author

Mar. 8 2021, Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

Whether or not you follow Jeopardy!, you probably heard the news: The gameshow has a new all-star, and he officially holds the second highest winnings in the history of Jeopardy! after Ken Jennings. It also doesn't hurt that he's pretty adorable. The contestant's name is James Holzhauer, and Monday marks his eighth consecutive win on the show. Today's Jeopardy! winnings helped Holzhauer rack up a total of $460,479. In 2004, Ken Jennings ended up with $2,520,700 after winning 74 games in a row, and before Holzhauer, there was Dave Madden, who won $430,400 after 19 games in 2005. Still, Holzhauer is in awesome company — and it's not too late to beat Jennings' high score.

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In fact, Holzhauer already broke a Jeopardy! record last Tuesday

The contestant won $110,914 in a single day — the most anyone has ever won in such a short time span on the show. How did he do it? By taking risks.

James told Wired, "My approach isn't complicated. Get some money, hit the Daily Doubles, bet big, and hope I run hot."

Best of all? James purposely aimed for $110,914 because it's his daughter's birthday: 11/09/14. People are understandably obsessed with the 34-year-old Vegas resident.

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What do we know about James Holzhauer?

James, who is originally from Naperville, Ill, has always been studious. When the Jeopardy! champion was in high school, he competed in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering state competition, and won first place in physics and second place in math. 

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He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and used this background to become the professional sports gambler he is today in Las Vegas. The math whiz has a wife and 4-year-old daughter (who he adorably called "Booger" in last week's game, after he won $110, 914 in her honor). Watch below:

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Jame's wife, Melissa Sassin Holzhauer, is also a talented game show contestant. In 2012, she was on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and won $28,800. James is very close to his family in general, and often gives them shout-outs on TV. He told The Chicago Tribune, "As for the shout-outs, family will be more important to me than money or winning on Jeopardy!, and the bets were a fun and unconventional way for me to show them that."

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Unsurprisingly, Jeopardy! isn't the only game show James has been on. In 2014, he competed in The Chase, which is similar to Jeopardy! in that you just have to know a lot of random stuff. In The Chase, three contestants earn money by answering questions as quickly as they can, and they each have 60-second rounds. You can watch the episode below:

What's next for James Holzhauer?

James is back on Jeopardy! tomorrow (April 16) to compete with two new contestants. This will be his ninth episode. And if you're just as obsessed with James as the rest of the country, you can always visit his fan-page account. Fingers crossed James keeps on winning!

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