Jeopardy Champs James Holzhauer And Ken Jennings Will Actually Play Against Each Other Soon

James Holzhauer Jeopardy! NBC

After a dominant win in the latest Tournament of Champions, James Holzhauer proved once again he's one of Jeopardy!'s greatest champions of all time. Now, he'll have a chance to elevate his claim even further, as the game show will be hosting the match up fans have been calling for ever since Holzhauer first went on his run earlier in 2019. Holzhauer is going head to head with two of the other greatest Jeopardy! champs of all time, and yes, one of them is Ken Jennings.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, Jeopardy! will head to primetime for its Greatest of All Time (GOAT) Tournament. The event, which will air on ABC, will pit James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter all up against each other in a special edition of the show that will help answer the question of who is the series' top champion. The winner will get $1,000,000 and bragging rights, while the others will walk away with $250,000 for their participation.

This Jeopardy! showdown is set to begin Tuesday, January 7 with a broadcast of two consecutive games. Each contestant's winnings will pool from the first game to the second and the person with the highest combined score will win the day's "match." The first contestant to take 3 matches will win which means this tourney could be as short as 3 days or as long as a week.

Many are familiar with the achievements of Ken Jennings and recent streak of James Holzhauer, but more casual Jeopardy! fans may not know the name Brad Rutter. Rutter is the "All-Time Winnings" top record holder of the show, which includes winnings from regular season gameplay and tournament play. Though this tournament could shorten the distance required for Jennings to pass him in All-Time Winnings, neither Jennings or Holzhauer will be able to surpass Rutter's $4,688,436 total winnings with the grand prize.

Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter have faced off before, but this will be the first time either of them has faced James Holzhauer. Holzhauer is looking strong fresh off his dominant Tournament of Champions win, especially after a decisive finals victory over the champion who ended his winning streak, Emma Boettcher.

Alex Trebek hinted it could be an uphill battle for the two veterans. The host, whose health has been a big news item in the latter half of 2019, told USA Today (opens in new tab) that Jeopardy! fans have to realize that age may not just be a number in regards to this tournament.

They won the majority of their monies 10, 15 years ago, so they’ve aged a bit. And are their reflexes going to be as good as James Holzhauer’s? Who knows? But we’re going to find out in this tournament. It’s going to be a blast, we’re all excited about it.

Basically, the first couple games of the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament should be very telling. Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will have to adapt to James Holzhauer's aggressive playstyle, and hope to outbuzz him on questions in order to stand a chance at toppling him. If either can do that, this should be an awesome tournament.

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Jeopardy!'s Greatest of All Time tournament will air on ABC in primetime starting Tuesday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend to continue to stay on top of game show news, and for the latest big news happening in movies and television.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.