How Close James Holzhauer Came To Breaking Ken Jennings' Jeopardy Record

James Holzhauer Jeopardy!

James Holzhauer's historic run on Jeopardy! is over, and while he smashed several records in his run, his time will end without defeating Ken Jennings' total earnings record or win streak. He wasn't anywhere close to the latter, but the professional gambler wasn't all that far off from the earnings record when he left the show. Between the two totals, there's only a $56,484 gap between the two on the Jeopardy! earnings leaderboard.

Given James Holzhauer's average take in winnings, that's a record he had a good chance at toppling the following day even with his questionable bet towards the end. Holzhauer has made a name for himself through his play style, which resulted in huge one-day totals he's gained through capitalizing on Double Jeopardy. It amassed him a winnings total of $2,464,216 much quicker than Ken Jennings, and often made it mathematically impossible for contestants to beat him in the endgame.

Unfortunately, James Holzhauer's luck ran out and Emma Boettcher ended up being the contestant that made it mathematically impossible for the other two competitors to best. Ken Jennings (whose record will stand at $2,520,700) was apparently watching when his rival fell, and posted the following on Twitter after the loss.

Damn, Ken Jennings is really gonna compare James Holzhauer to Thanos? What character in the Marvel universe would that make him? Honestly, this tweet sounds like shade, although it's kind of like a compliment given Jennings' acknowledgement that Holzhauer essentially decimated tons of Jeopardy! records before his run ended.

James Holzhauer took the meme from Ken Jennings rather well, and even poked fun at himself in a personal message back to Jennings. Judging from Holzhauer's tweet, it doesn't seem like there's any bad blood between these two after all.

Though he didn't explicitly address it, James Holzhauer has referenced an elephant in the room that Jeopardy! might have to decide at a later date. Holzhauer is still within striking distance of Ken Jennings' winnings record, and there seems to be many interested in seeing the two square off in a special episode. It wouldn't have been as big of a deal for Jennings had Holzhauer already beaten the winnings record, but would he risk his record for entertainment?

No one knows but Ken Jennings, and for what it's worth, his playstyle was very different than James Holzhauer. Jennings went on his 74-game win streak without high wager bets, and instead relied on his exceptional trivia knowledge. Jennings has admitted it'd be a close match if the two ever went head to head, which may mean Holzhauer's odds of getting a high game total to beat Jennings would be far from assured.

Apparently Jeopardy! Outlawed $69 Wagers

For now, Jeopardy! hasn't responded to fans' calls for James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings to face off. CinemaBlend will keep an eye out for if anything changes, and report on whether or not Holzhauer will get another chance to up that winnings total yet.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.