Breaking Down Jeopardy Champ James Holzhauer by the Numbers

Breaking Down Jeopardy Champ James Holzhauer by the Numbers
Carol Kaelson/Jeopardy Productions via AP
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0 -  Number of Daily Double clues answered incorrectly by James in game’s “Double Jeopardy” round (through 28 games). Note: James is 44-for-44 on these high-money wagers.

5 - Through 28 episodes, number of games where James won more than $100,000.

15 - Through 28 episodes, number of games where James won more than $80,000.

7 - Through 28 games, number of times James wagered $11,914 in Daily Doubles (his daughter’s birthday: 11-9-14).

7 - Number of times James wagered $9,812 in Daily Doubles (his wedding date: 9-8-12).

10 - Number of “perfect games” - no incorrect responses  - recorded by James in first 28  games (includes clues in Final Jeopardy). 

10 - Number of games James had only one incorrect response (through 28 games).

20 - Number of games (through 28) where James had either zero or one incorrect response.

13 - According to James, approximate number of years he tried to get on “Jeopardy!” before being selected as a contestant. James, 34, began trying in college.

15 - Number of spots James holds in Top 15 all-time winnings on show (through 28 games).

22 - Number of Daily Doubles “found” by James in the game’s first round (first 28 games).

21 - Number of times James went “all in” on these first-round Daily Doubles.

$9,812 - Amount James wagered the only time he did NOT go “all in” (out of a possible bet of $10,400).

74 - Number of consecutive games won by Ken Jennings in 2004.

28 - Number of consecutive games won by James Holzhauer though May 25.

96.4 - Percent of Final Jeopardy clues correctly answered by James (27/28) in first 28 games.

68 - Percent of Final Jeopardy clues correctly answered by Ken Jennings (51-of-75).

120 - Consecutive correct responses by James in Games 22 through 24.

$8,400 - The largest amount James has lost on one of his “all in” bets. Note: he’s missed four Daily Double clues, all in the game’s first round. Through 29games, he has yet to miss a Daily Double clue in the game’s 2nd round.

$12,800 - James’s largest deficit (after opponent Nate correctly answered 2nd Daily Double in Game 26.) James soon found the game’s final Daily Double, went “all in” - answered correctly - and was back in the game. This is the only time James went “all in” on the game’s final Daily Double.

$44,071 - On per-game basis, amountJames’s winning total exceeds Ken Jennings’ average winning total.

1,750 - Approximate number of Washington Post readers who commented on Charles Lane’s column that labeled James Holzhauer a “menace.” While plenty agreed, most disagreed vehemently.

$19,980 - Average winning total for “Jeopardy!” Contestants 2003 to 2017.

$78,413 - Average winning total for James through 28 games.

$25,000 - Largest amount wagered by James on a Double Daily (twice).

25,000 - Approximate number of “Jeopardy!” contestants since the game show’s debut in 1964.

6 - Approximate number of contestants who used at least some elements of James’s maverick “game strategy.” Note: These contestants rank among the show’s biggest all-time winners.

$43,478 - Estimated amount host Alex Trebek earns per episode of “Jeopardy!” (Trebek reportedly makes$10 million/year and hosts 230 episodes/year). James is the only player in game history to earn more per-episode than Alex.

$53,999 - Final total of runner-up finisher Adam Levin in Game 18 of James’s run. Pre-James, this total would have been in Top 12 in game history.  As runner-up, Levin won $2,000.  James won this game by just $18.

$60,013 - James’s largest Final Jeopardy wager, an all-time record.

$64,913 - James’s average margin of victory through his first 22 games.

$75,000 - Amount James won betting that Ken Griffey, Jr. would receive more than 75 percent of the vote on Griffey’s first appearance on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

50 percent - According to James, approximate percentage of Vegas sports books who will not accept his wagers.

$77,000 - Previous record winning total for one game (held by Roger Craig. Record stood for nearly nine years).

$131,127 - Current one-game record held by James.

$202,950 - On a per-hour basis, amount James has earned through 24 games (based on each game requiring 23 minutes of “work.”) 

$422.24 million - How much an employee earning this hourly rate would make in a year if working a 40-hour-week.

$812,356 - Estimated taxes James will owe IRS on his winnings through his 28th game.

$0 - Estimated taxes he will owe his home state of Nevada, one of seven states without a state income tax.

$2.255 million - James total winnings on “Jeopardy!” through 29 “Jeopardy!” games.

$53,333 - Money James won competing on the quiz show “The Chase” in 2014 (a record).

$28,800 - Money James’s wife won competing on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” In 2012.

$2.52 million - Amount won by Ken Jennings over 74 regular-game victories in 2004 (average of

$34,063/victory). Note: James is averaging $78,413 through 28 games

13.3 million - Average daily viewers of “Jeopardy!”(Neilsen rating period ending May 5).

0 - TV shows with a larger audience in rating period.

8.3 - Percentage of U.S. homes tuning in to watch “Jeopardy!” and/or James.

41 percent - Increase in show’s ratings over same period a year ago.

Note about sources: Jeopardy game statistics came primarily from, and A game re-cap site on also provided excellent information. The author also found data or anecdotes in several on-line stories about James.

Bill Rice, Jr. is a freelance writer in Troy, Alabama. He can be reached by email 


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