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‘Jeopardy!’ isn’t the first game show James Holzhauer has crushed

NEW YORK — Heading into Friday’s night show, sports gambler James Holzhauer has won 16 straight games and more than $1 million on Jeopardy!, and he remains on pace toward becoming the game’s all-time champ.

In an interesting feature, Emily Yahr of the Washington Post tracked down the 16 contestants who have had the misfortune to go up against Holzhauer and his aggressive strategy so far. Some of their comments:

  • Hannah Pierson-Compeau: “I was really proud of myself for getting the first Daily Double. … [But] as much as I was trying to be optimistic, once he got on a roll, it was just ‘Ohhh, no.'”
  • Matthew Amster-Burton: “At the end of single Jeopardy! I thought maybe I could win. But soon as he got the first Daily Double in Double Jeopardy, he bet a lot, and I was like, ‘OK, this is over.'”
  • Kevin Bohannon: “Everyone wants to know about his personality, they want to know, ‘Is he a robot, does he ever smile?’ The truth is, he’s not a robot, he does smile, he’s having fun up there.”

In another interesting Holzhauer tidbit, TMZ reports that he previously had game-show success in 2014 on Chase, where he nailed a record 12 answers for $60,000 in the opening round.

He also got 19 answers in the final round for, yes, another record, en route to helping his team of three win $175,000. The piece notes that Holzhauer bet conservatively on the show, a strategy he has changed on Jeopardy!, where he tends to bet big.

(Read more Jeopardy stories.)

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