James Holzhauer Bio, Wiki, Age, Wife, The Chase, and Net Worth

James Holzhauer Biography

James Holzhauer is a well-known American game show contestant and professional sports gambler. He is the third-highest-earning American game show contestant of all time. And is notably known for his 32-game winning streak as champion on the quiz show Jeopardy! from April to June 2019. During this time, he set multiple single-game records for winnings and for winning the following Tournament of Champions that November.

In his 33 appearances, he won $2,464,216. This made him the second-highest winner in Jeopardy! regular-play (nontournament) winnings (behind only Ken Jennings, who won $2,522,700 in 2004). And at the time, James was second in the number of games won (again behind only Jennings) although he has since been surpassed by Matt Amodio (38 games) and Amy Schneider (40). His $250,000 top prize in the Tournament of Champions and $250,000 runner-up prize in the Greatest of All Time Tournament brought his total to $2,964,216. This made him still the third-highest winning Jeopardy! contestant, behind Jennings and Brad Rutter. Also, he set the single-game winnings to record $131,127. Based on his success on Jeopardy!, he has been nicknamed “Jeopardy James”.

James Holzhauer Age

He was born on August 6, 1984, and he is 38 years old as of April 2023. He celebrates his birthdate on August 6, every year.

James Holzhauer Height

He stands at a height of 5ft 9 inches (1.76m).

James Holzhauer Photo
James Holzhauer Photo

James Holzhauer Family

He was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois by his parents; Juergen Holzhauer (Father) and Nachiko Ide Holzhauer (Mother). And he has a brother namely Ian Holzhauer.

James Holzhauer Wife

He is married to the love of his life Melissa Sassin Holzhauer, a tutor from Seattle, Washington. They married on September 8, 2012.
He and his wife have one child, a daughter named Natasha (born on November 9, 2014).

James Holzhauer’s Net Worth

He has a net worth of $2 million. The net worth he has accrued comes from his professional sports gambler and an American game show contestant.

James Holzhauer Salary

His exact salary is not mentioned on the Internet. However, news online shows that he earned an estimated $2,462,216 from game shows. On average, he won around $77,000 per game.

James Holzhauer Education

He received his education at Naperville North High School where he consistently got A’s on math tests and competed on the math team. After high school, he attended The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 2005.

James Holzhauer Career

James Holzhauer Game Show Appearances

The Chase

On September 2, 2014, he appeared on the American version of the quiz show The Chase, internationally produced by ITV Studios. In his first round, a one-minute round called the Cash Builder, he correctly answered 12 questions out of 13 posed by host Brooke Burns. The last question was asked just before time expired and was quickly passed on by James. His score set a record for the Cash Builder that was never surpassed during the show’s run. He went on to face Mark Labbett in the second round.

This was to determine whether he would advance to the final round and add money to the team prize pool. James had a choice of three amounts to play for $60,000 based on his score in the CashBuilder, $30,000 to reduce the difficulty of the round, and $120,000 which would increase the difficulty. Instead, he chose to play for $60,000. After the show, he said that the odds did not favor playing for the maximum amount and that it was not worth the gamble.

The Chase was then played head-to-head with the players using hidden buttons to select multiple-choice answers. Holzhauer then advanced to the finals and was added to the prize pool with a score of five right and one wrong. And Labbett scored a perfect five, with his final answer not revealed since Holzhauer had already achieved the necessary points to win the round. In the Final Chase round (as a team leader with two other contestants also participating), James’ team defeated Labbett by a score of 26 to 9. The win earned Holzhauers a $58,333.33 share of the $175,000 team prize pool.

By answering 19 questions correctly for his team, he set a Final Chase record that was also never surpassed. The producer of The Chase, Bob Boden was impressed by Holzhauer’s performance and had him audition to join the show as a colleague of Labbett. He and several other famous game show contestants in July 2020 were said to be in negotiations to become chasers for a potential reboot of The Chase which would be produced for ABC. The reboot starring James, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter premiered on ABC on January 7, 2021.

James Holzhauer 500 Questions

On May 22, 2015, he appeared on the American quiz show 500 Questions. However, the show did not allow the challenger to replace the champion unless the champion answered three questions wrong in a row. The incumbent champion, Steve Bahnaman prevailed over Holzhauer who did not receive any winnings.

James Holzhauer Jeopardy!

From April 4 to June 3, 2019, he appeared on 33 episodes of Season 35 of the American quiz show Jeopardy! During his first game, he won $43,680, the largest single-game total to that point in Season 35. On April 9, in his fourth game, h broke the p[revious single-game Jepardy! winnings record ($77,000 set by Roger Craig in 2010) by winning $110,914. During his 33 appearances, he exceeded Craig’s single-day 16 times, including a new all-time record set on April 17, when he won $131,127.

Also, he is the first and only player to win $100,000 or more in a single episode, a feat he accomplished six times. His $298,687 total winnings across his first five days surpassed the five-day record set by Frank Spangenberg in 1990 before the changes in the values of the clues. However, James was defeated in his 33rd game, which aired on June 3, 3019, and was watched by 14.5 million people. Jeopardy! confirmed in July 2019, that Holzhauer would return for the Tournament of Champions in November.

James Holzhauer Other Activities

In February 2023, he appeared in the category “Taking A Gamble With James Holzhauer” as Clue Giver during the Triple Jeopardy! on the final episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC. It was announced in January 2023, that James will compete in Jeopardy! Maters primetime tournament on ABC. The program is scheduled to premiere on May 8, 2023.

James Holzhauer Gambling Career

While a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he played hearts and spades at a card club. The twice-a-week club quickly turned into a five-day-a-week home poker game with a 10-cent ante and $2 maximum bets. In 2019, he debuted at the World Series of Poker. In his first event, he finished 454th out of approximately 1,800 contestants and did not win any prize money (he would have needed to finish at 281st or higher to win any prize money). His second event was a tag team match in which he partnered with Mike Sexton.

James Holzhauer Philanthropy

He said he intended to donate some of his Jeopardy! winnings to Las Vegas children’s charities. He then donated $10,000 on April 7, 2019, to a Las Vegas organization for displaced teens. On May 2, 2019, he was awarded a key to the Las Vegas Strip for his success on Jeopardy! and for his donations to children’s charity organizations and other nonprofit organizations in the Las Vegas area. He then began to participate in World Series of Poker events in Las Vegas. He plans to donate half his winnings to the Las Vegas nonprofit Project 150, which helps homeless displaced, and disadvantaged high school students.

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