RICHMOND- James Holzhauer recently won the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, but he won’t be gone for long. This time, he will return to face two players who are considered the most dominant at the position.
In January, ABC will be broadcasting a prime-time special when Holzhauer takes on Jeopardy legends Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a first to three match competition.
But the GOAT tournament will be anything but typical: It consists of a series of two back-to-back games, airing weeknights (8 EST/PST) beginning Jan. 7 on ABC.
The player with the most combined winnings from the two games wins the “match,” and the play continues on successive nights (except Monday) until one of them has won three matches and takes home a $1 million prize.
The other finishers get $250,000 apiece. That means the tournament can last anywhere from three to seven days.
Both Rutter and Jennings had faced off against considerably difficult competition in the past. Both battled IBM’s Watson computer in 2011 and came up extremely short. They also competed in an All-Stars match in March won by Rutter. Jennings took 2nd place in the competition.
However, Holzhauer’s impressive streak allowed the show’s producers to seize the opportunity to provide a third, captivating player and seal the deal.
Jennings became a household name during his record 74-game winning streak in 2004, the longest in Jeopardy! history. Running from 6/2/ – 11/30, Jennings’ fast buzzer style captivated the country before ultimately falling short to Nancy Zerg in his 75th game.
Jennings also set the then one day record at $75,000 before it was broken by Roger Craig and later Holzhauer. Combined with his prior appearances in the Ultimate TOC, the Battle of the Decades, and the Jeopardy All Star Games, his winnings total $3,370,700.
Rutter first appeared on the show in 2000 when the rules only allowed a contestant to win 5 games. He won all 5 games, won that years TOC, the Million Dollar Masters, the UTOC, Battle of the Decades, and the All Stars.
With total Jeopardy! winnings of $4,688,436, Rutter is the highest money winner of all time across any television game show and has never lost Jeopardy! to a human opponent. (Watson)
Holzhauer first appeared on the show in 2019 and started off with a bang scoring over $43,000 in his first show. Since then he has gone on to beat the one day record twice (110,914 to 131,127) and now holds the record for all 15 of the top Single-Game Winnings records on Jeopardy!.
Holzhauer lost to Emma Boettcher before he could pass Jennings’ regular season record of most money won, but later defeated her in the 2019 Tournament of Champions where he won the $250,000 prize. His winnings total $2,712,216.
It’s a matchup that ranks among the must see events for the year 2020. With host Alex Trebek battling pancreatic cancer, fans will wonder if this may be the host’s last hurrah. Since 1984, Trebek has been a staple on the show and won many Emmy awards as the host of Jeopardy.
For now, fans can pull out their click pens and buzz along with the players as they tune into an event that might top all prime-time events. The board is now yours, and make a selection.