Naperville Native Makes Long Jeopardy! Run


Kyle Platt


Although we often think of those from nearby towns as rivals, we tend to associate ourselves with the entire Chicagoland area when looking at a bigger picture. This is why many in Illinois are now familiar with record setting Jeopardy! contestant and former Naperville resident James Holzhauer.

Yesterday, Holzhauer beat the second highest winning streak in Jeopardy! history with his 21th consecutive victory. Julia Collins was formerly in second with her 20 day win streak in 2014. Although he is still far off from the longest streak, held by Ken Jennings who won 74 games in 2004, he is projected to reach Jenning’s record $2.5 million in winnings much faster due to his risky style of betting which helps him accumulate his total winnings much more rapidly. Already over $1.5 million in total earnings, Holzhauer is projected to reach $2.5 million in around 33 games.

Holzhauer’s impressive run has earned him a well-deserved spot in Jeopardy’s Hall of Fame along with other high performing contestants on the show. If he keeps it up, he could soon be on the top of the list for most of the show’s records.

Currently a sports gambler living in Las Vegas, Holzhauer is no stranger to putting money on the line. His all around knowledge and quick thinking make him seem like a factual wizard, and he had aspirations for using those skills even before becoming a gambler. For years he has been interested in the way statistics are so heavily involved in in the sport of baseball and the growing number of ways statistics can influence a team’s decisions. While becoming involved with MLB teams had long been a dream for him, Holzhauer says those thoughts are mostly behind him now.

Currently, he is focusing on continuing his jaw dropping streak, although, if he wins tonight, he will have a break next week as the Jeopardy! Teacher’s Tournament will begin Monday, May 6th. Even if game shows like Jeopardy! aren’t your thing, it is still pretty cool to watch the success of the quick witted Chicagoland native.