LOS ANGELES – Record-breaking "Jeopardy!" contestant James Holzhauer continued his winning streak Monday, bringing his prize total to just under $1 million.
In just 13 shows, Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler, has won more money faster than any contestant in the daily game show's 35-year history. Holzhauer aggressively seeks out high-dollar questions and bets big when he selects Jeopardy's Daily Double squares. He's also very fast on the buzzer. Holzhauer won $90,812 Monday for a total of $942,738.
To put that number in perspective, the average winner takes home about $20,000, according to Jeopardy's website.
Starting in 2004, "Jeopardy!" contestant Ken Jennings became a media sensation after winning $2,520,700 over 74 consecutive appearances. But if Holzhauer continues at his breakneck pace, he could break Jennings' record in half the time. Before 2003, contestants could only compete for five consecutive episodes.
Holzhauer's standout performances have caused some to worry about the long-running show's finances.
"James's performance, I'm sure, is causing grief for an accountant somewhere," Bob Boden, a former head of programming at Game Show Network, told the Atlantic.
Others note that Holzhauer's record run will probably bring in record ratings. And his earnings (so far) still pale in comparison to host Alex Trebek's reportedly $10 million yearly salary.