The question du jour is “What is record-breaking?” And “Jeopardy!” juggernaut James Holzhauer may soon be the answer.
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After Wednesday night’s game – his 30th victory in a row – the 34-year-old professional sports gambler had racked up a total of $2,343,971.
That means he’s just $196,729 away from legend Ken Jennings’ historic $2,520,700 earned during regular-season play.
But he’s still 44 games to go before he approaches Jennings’ 74-game streak, which played out over the course of 2004.
Holzhauer has been averaging about $80,000 per game, earning slightly less ($69,033, to be precise) during Wednesday night’s episode.
A former opponent thinks Holzhauer will accumulate the cash – but not the game count – to beat Jennings.
“I definitely think he’s going to beat Ken’s money total, because he’s pretty close already,” Nate Scheffey, a Manhattan technology consultant, who nearly beat Holzhauer last week, tells The Post. “But that 74-game record is truly incredible. It’s one of those things that happens in sports where it’s like, almost unbelievable that it happened. And it couldn’t happen again.”
Holzhauer’s downfall, Scheffey said, will occur when others catch on to his strategies. (Those include targeting high-dollar-value clues first and aggressively betting during Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy.)
“He has this gambler’s mindset, where he’s looking at every opportunity like a hand of poker or a blackjack table,” he added. “Players are going to start emulating his strategy, which is really the only way to take him out. So I think he probably won’t get to Ken’s record.”
Jennings himself has said he’s impressed with the Las Vegas resident’s game play.
“For 15 years, I have thought somebody was going to make a run at this record, because I always knew it could be done,” Jennings said on “Good Morning America.” “I was there. I saw it happen. What I did not expect was somebody could make a run at the cash record in, like, a third the time.”
On Wednesday night, Trebek asked Holzhauer about the most money he ever lost on a Vegas wager. Holzhauer confirmed it was a $20,000 bet before he was married.
“We don’t discuss until the end of the season where the bankroll is going,” Holzhahuer told Trebek. “It’s better that way.”