“Jeopardy!” champion James Holzhauer has become the sports world’s favorite adopted son, his stats tracked daily like an All-Star slugger’s, his rise to fame profiled by ESPN, his day job making him the face “of the American sports bettor.”
On Monday night, he also drew attention from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who tweeted that if the long-running champion lost, he’d eat a strawberry, which he claims he’s never had in his life.
Holzhauer didn’t lose. He won. For the 23rd straight time. By $80,428.
His earnings rose to $1,780,237, still the second most all time, behind only Ken Jennings, who won $2,520,700 over a 74-game streak in 2004. Because we’re still four months away from a meaningful NFL game, and there’s not much else to monitor until Thursday’s organized team activities in Owings Mills, let’s put that it context of another champion: Lamar Jackson.
In the Ravens rookie quarterback’s AFC North-winning season last year, he earned a $480,000 base salary and $1,242,117 signing bonus. That total of $1,722,117 was more than Holzhauer had made — until Monday night’s victory.
Of course, Jackson still is doing quite well for himself. He made more money per “appearance” last season than Holzhauer has so far, and he’s also guaranteed another $3.7 million in signing-bonus money. Holzhauer’s staying power might only be as good as his “Daily Double” bets.