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'Jeopardy James' Returns for the Tournament of Champions

Gettyimages | David Becker
By C Tresser

Wednesday marked the return of James Holzhauer on 'Jeopardy!'

(The very end of this article contains spoilers)

James Holzhauer, who won $2,464,216 over the span of 32 episodes of 'Jeopardy!' earlier this year, is back for the Tournament of Champions. Tonight (November 6) he squares off against Alan Dunn and Lindsey Shultz. Dunn is from Georgia and took home $120,802 during his time on the show and Shultz, from Pittsburgh, earned $101,002.

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By day, Holzhauer, a 35-year-old resident of Las Vegas, is fittingly, a professional sports gambler. He was a polarizing figure during his time on Jeopardy; people either loved him or hated him. For his gameplay, he took a two-pronged approach. Holzhauer selected the highest-value clues first in order to maximize the money he had available for Daily Doubles. For said Daily Doubles, he bet aggressively (his average wager was $9,000).

Holzhauer credited children's fact books for his success. They allowed him to absorb vast amounts of information easily. He also took a year off to study for 'Jeopardy!'

Ratings rose during his time on the show. For the first two weeks, they were up 11% nationally. By the fourth week, ratings shot up 30% nationally. His highest-rated episode was his last. There were 14.5 million same-day viewers which was the highest-rated episode of the show since Ken Jennings' final episode back in 2004.

The day James finally lost was bittersweet, both because his fate was leaked all over the internet earlier in the day and because he was on pace to beat Jennings's regular-play record in the same episode. James was defeated by Emma Boettcher, a 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian, who is also in the tournament.

SPOILERS BELOW -- stop now if you don't want to hear how James performed in his return.

Gettyimages | David Becker

Going into the first commercial break, James was in the lead with $5,400, even without finding the first round's Daily Double (that went to Shultz). At the completion of the Jeopardy round, James led with $8,800, Alan and Lindsey tied at $4,000. In Double Jeopardy, James hit his classic stride, commanding a solid lead. He had $30,309 to Alan's $6,000 and Lindsey's $10,800. No surprise, James answered Final Jeopardy correctly but made a modest wager (only $326), taking him to a final total of $30,635.

See you in the next round, James and welcome back!

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