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Brave New Jeopardy World

Jeapordy, Alex Trebek, James Holzhauer

Answer: Television’s most intelligent game show.

Question: What is Jeopardy?

The show tests non-trivial knowledge, with the twist being that contestants are given the answer and must buzz-in quickly to supply the question. 

Longtime viewers are most concerned these days about beloved host Alex Trebek’s battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  But, like Trebek, fans are talking about James Holzhauer, the 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, who has amassed over $1.6 million by winning 21 games in a row. 

That puts him in second place for consecutive victories all-time — surpassing Julia Collins, with 20 straight wins in 2014, and moving toward Ken Jennings, who triumphed in 74 consecutive games back in 2004, earning over $2.5 million during that streak.

Most amazing are the massive amounts of money Holzhauer garners night after night.*  “He has no weaknesses,” Trebek told Good Morning America, noting that Holzhauer “has a strategy” and “he’s a gambler.” “He has forced me to change a view that I’ve had for many years . . . that the Ken Jennings record will never be broken.” 

There are detractors.  “It’s just not fun,” argues Washington Post columnist Charles Lane. 

Others may take the thoroughly postmodern view that Mr. Holzhauer didn’t really “build this” success on his own.  If not for public education and libraries, how could he have amassed such knowledge?  How did Holzhauer get to LA for the program?  He certainly didn’t build those roads or airports. 

I think James Holzhauer is an incredible individual, deserving his success.  And some of my best friends are librarians.

This is Common Sense.  I’m Paul Jacob.

* Holzhauer’s talents also bring out the best in others. Earlier this week, contestant Adam Levine ended with an impressive $53,999 . . . only to finish second to Holzhauer’s $54,017. In his fourth contest, Holzhauer smashed Roger Craig’s single-game record of $77,000.  Today, Holzhauer’s is the only name on the Top 10 List of highest single-game scores — his best a whopping $131,127

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Jeapordy, Alex Trebek, James Holzhauer

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By: Redactor

1 Comment

  1. Frank Clarke says:

    He’s changinjg the way Jeopardy will be played in the future, too. Historically everyone starts at the low end on the perfectly reasonable assumption those are the easiest questions. Holzhauer stars at the top end, picks up a pile of loot, hits the Daily Double, and he’s outahere with an early and usually unstoppable lead. He’ll blow past Ken Jennings’ $2.5M total if he can get to 35 games.

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