For the second-straight week, Jeopardy! fans hoping to see if reigning champion James Holzhauer will continue his record-breaking win streak will be disappointed.
Jeopardy! is on the second week of its annual teachers tournament, meaning fans will have to wait another week before the professional sports gambler returns. Holzhauer’s first show back will air Monday, May 20, at 7 p.m. on 6ABC.
Nine teachers (five semifinalists, four wildcards) remain in the tournament, vying for the $100,000 grand prize and a spot on the show’s Tournament of Champions. Minges Klusman, an English teacher at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, appeared in the quarterfinals last week but finished in third place.
Holzhauer’s streak has led to record ratings for the show, which logged its most watched week in 14 years for the week starting April 22. During Holzhauer’s absence last week, the show had a slight dip in viewership. On 6ABC, Jeopardy!'s ratings were down about 9.6 percent last week compared to the previous week, according to Nielsen numbers.
Holzhauer is already the second-most-successful contestant in the show’s history, having won 22 straight games with total winnings of $1.69 million. Holzhauer also set a new Jeopardy! single-game record of $110,914, topping Roger Craig’s previous mark of $77,000.
“I had one specific goal, which was to win an episode with exactly $110,914, because that’s my daughter’s birthday,” Holzhauer told New York.
Ken Jennings still holds the longest winning streak, with 74 games and $2.5 million in winnings, but Lancaster native Brad Rutter (who played when the rules limited win streaks to five games) is still Jeopardy!’s all-time money winner with nearly $4.7 million, thanks to tournament winnings.
“He’s been getting a lot of attention for playing differently than most people,” Rutter told Lancaster’s LNP newspaper. “But I think, honestly, what makes it good and what really makes a difference is the things that make anybody good at ‘Jeopardy!’ — knowledge and buzzer skills.”
Few challengers have managed to make the games close against Holzhauer, who has dominated his competitors with an aggressive strategy of going for high-dollar answers and making large wagers on Daily Doubles.
On April 29, Brandeis University athletics spokesperson and Philadelphia native Adam Levin came the closest, losing to Holzhauer by just $18. According to Andy Saunders, who runs the website Jeopardy Fan, Levin’s $53,999 was the “highest-ever regular-play nonwinning score in the history of the show.” But Levin still only received the $2,000 runner-up award.