After two weeks off the air, James Holzhauer returns to Jeopardy! Monday night to resume his bid to continue his winning streak.
His absence was due to the show’s annual teachers tournament, which was won by Francois Barcomb, an 11th-grade physics teacher from New Paltz, N.Y.
Holzhauer’s return can be seen at 7 p.m. on 6ABC in Philadelphia.
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, the show had a slight dip in viewership.
Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, 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 Jeopardy!'s 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 the game show’s all-time money winner with nearly $4.7 million, thanks to tournament winnings.
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.
“So in some ways, I lost more money than anyone else,” Levin told The Inquirer last month. “I just did the best that I could, and I’m proud of the way it came out.”