Dare we say you’re living under a rock with tin foil on your head if you’re unaware of James Holzhauer’s historic Jeopardy! winning streak, which finds him proudly bulldozing over other contestants with his current winnings total of $851,926 over 12 games. (And that $$$ could very well increase this evening.) In fact, he’s second in winnings only to Jeopardy! fixture of yesteryear Ken Jennings, who, in a new interview with Wired, admitted he’s not too bothered at the prospect of being usurped in game show history after all these years. In fact, he’s hoping it happens.
“I’m very excited. As a fan of the show, I’m actually rooting for James or anybody who can take a swing at that record,” Jennings explained. “I’m just gobsmacked by James. It’s absolutely insane what he’s doing. Like, I thought I had seen everything on Jeopardy!. And this is something I would have thought was just impossible, these numbers.”
Jennings also has an inkling the show will find a way to put him, Holzhauer, and the rest of the Jeopardy! greats in a tournament together, which is the setting Jennings believes would totally level out the playing field. “In a tournament scenario, James loses some of his edge,” he rationalized. “He can’t take a lot of money off the board and put his competitors out of commission before the first commercial. So that’s not a strategy you can count on anymore.” Still, he concedes facing Holzhauer would be a “real uphill battle,” blaming his age. (We strongly disagree.) “If you compare my stats to James’, they’re almost identical. But here’s the thing, that’s not me, that’s Ken from 15 years ago, who was 29, still super mentally acute. It’s kind of a young person’s game. I’m 45. At some point, I’m just a generation behind the new crop of players, and they’re going to be a little bit sharper, a little bit faster than me, and there’s nothing I can do about it.” Again, we strongly disagree, and look forward to betting on Jennings vs. Holzhauer.