James Holzhauer had been taking the online tryout for “Jeopardy!” for about six years before he was finally asked to audition in person.
Determined to reach the “Jeopardy!” stage, Holzhauer solicited tips in an online poker forum: What could he do to get a spot on the show?
“The number one piece of advice he got was just, ‘Smile, look like you’re having a good time,’” said Ben Yu, a longtime friend and fellow professional gambler. Yu imagined Holzhauer thinking: “I am going to do whatever it takes. I am going to smile as forcefully as I can to make sure these producers put me on.”
[What is a spoiler? This story about “Jeopardy!” phenom James Holzhauer.]
The country has seen a lot of that strained toothy smile over the past month, but these days, Holzhauer, 34, doesn’t need to put on a happy face to prove he belongs on “Jeopardy!” Since early April, he has been raking in cash at a faster rate than any other contestant in the show’s history, making .7 million so far.
He holds the top 12 spots for the show’s highest single-game winnings. His winning streak, now at 22 games, has fueled speculation that he could surpass the reigning all-time “Jeopardy!” champ Ken Jennings, who won .5 million over 74 episodes in 2004.
[A “Jeopardy!” contestant wrote about what it was like to go up against Holzhauer.]
His run has become a welcome diversion for a country that could use one, and at a time when viral characters are created and forgotten in mere hours, the public’s fascination with Holzhauer has lasted for weeks. That may be because his game show appearances, which are prerecorded, are parceled out in 30-minute chunks each day. (The show is currently airing its teachers tournament; Holzhauer returns on May 20.)
He’s also remarkably open to giving interviews, to journalists from mainstream news organizations, niche sports betting websites and everything in between. Modest in dress, spare with his words on camera and dispassionate each time he breaks records, he is the anti-Kardashian of TV stars.
It is a strange station for someone who has spent much of his life trying to escape a “normal” adulthood, fleeing the prospect of working a dull desk job in Chicago to gamble in Las Vegas. Off camera, he prefers flip-flops and sports jerseys to loafers and button-ups, which he said he had to dig out of his closet for “Jeopardy!”
“It’s just a regular slacker story,” said his 36-year-old brother, Ian Holzhauer. “Except it’s somebody who has a lot of really exceptional gifts.”
As a child growing up in Naperville, Ill., a western suburb of Chicago, James — known as Jamie into adulthood — was a math whiz. In 1989, when he was 4, The Chicago Tribune featured him in an article about gifted children, writing that his teacher was astounded by his arithmetic abilities and developed advanced classwork just for him. At 7, he was moved up to a fifth-grade math class, and at his mother’s urging he skipped second grade altogether, he said.
A friend from the neighborhood, Laura Gaskill, said she remembered his quizzing her on square roots while walking home from school. In an interview, Holzhauer said that working with numbers made him feel the way book lovers do when they get lost in a fictional world.
He said it made sense that he would gravitate toward the grid of numbers on “Jeopardy!”— which he often watched with his grandmother, who immigrated from Japan to help take care of her daughter’s family.
He consistently got A’s on math tests, and he was a star on his high school math team, his family and friends said. But he was a C student — even in math — because he often skipped doing his homework or going to class, reasoning he could use the time more productively.
“There were times in school where I would say, ‘I should go to class,’” Holzhauer said in an interview. “But I could make 0 playing online poker if I didn’t go.”
He would memorize obscure baseball statistics and everything there was to know about professional wrestling, prompting his parents to reprimand him for “wasting his life” learning about sports.
[What is life like for Ken Jennings and other former “Jeopardy!” stars?]
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Holzhauer said, he spent a year applying for jobs as an actuary, even though it was the exact sort of desk job he loathed. He played online poker to pay the bills, but as legal restrictions tightened around the game, it began to lose its allure, he said. He decided to focus on sports betting.
His father, Juergen Holzhauer, a German immigrant who worked as an engineer for a chemical company for 32 years, didn’t approve at first.
“I always had a steady job, always worked for ‘the man’ from 8 to 5,” his father, now 77, said in an interview. “So did my dad and most everybody I knew.”
In 2008, James Holzhauer moved with some friends into a house in Las Vegas where the living room sometimes had three television screens showing different sports games at the same time.
That living room was as messy as one would expect from four internet-obsessed young men. While visiting his son, Juergen Holzhauer remembered, he saw shoes all over the floor and empty food containers littering the surfaces. A housekeeper was hired to come every few weeks.
On Tuesdays, James and a group of friends would play trivia at Quinn’s, an Irish pub in Henderson, Nev. During one outing, said Jameson Painter, 35, one of those friends, Holzhauer vehemently disagreed with the rest of the team on the answer to a question.
So he got up from his seat, asked for a new sheet of paper from the moderator and seceded from his friends to form a one-person team he named “The Confederacy,” Painter said. Holzhauer sat in a corner of the bar, nursed a diet soda and won by two points.
Around 2011, Holzhauer said, he was feeling that he needed a break from gambling when he met his future wife on a summer program teaching English in Thailand. (Melissa Holzhauer, a classical literature scholar, had her own moment in the game show spotlight, taking home ,800 on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” in 2014.)
Holzhauer took a four-year hiatus from gambling, moving with his wife to the West Coast, living off her wages and his saved-up winnings. Then they moved to Naperville, his hometown, where their daughter was born on Nov. 9, 2014. (Among other quirks, Holzhauer has become known for calculating his Final Jeopardy bets to match significant dates in his life, and when he first broke the single-game record, his total was 0,914.)
“His transition to adulthood was a slow one,” his brother said. “When he got married and had a kid was where you really saw him grow up a lot.”
Around that time, Holzhauer said he got serious about his “Jeopardy!” dream. He read children’s books to vacuum up bits of trivia and fashioned a practice buzzer out of a mechanical pencil. He made it to two auditions and got the call after the second one.
When the time came, he deployed his strategy in front of the cameras: He went for the high-value clues first, hunted for the Daily Doubles, and when he found them, bet everything he had. Contestants without a gambling background do not usually have the stomach for those kinds of high-stakes bets, Holzhauer has said, but he did.
Although he has gained a reputation for betting large amounts without flinching, Yu, the professional poker player and friend of Holzhauer’s, said that big-time sports betting was often stressful for Holzhauer. Some days, when he was living as a bachelor, he couldn’t stand to watch games he had bet on and would ask a roommate to check whether he had won or lost.
“If we were at dinner and a baseball game was on he would take the seat facing away from the TV,” Yu said. “He just didn’t want to deal with the stress.”
Yu, 33, said he and Holzhauer often discussed needing to take a break from gambling, but it kept drawing Holzhauer back because it was so profitable and he missed the action. So in 2016, he moved his family from Illinois to Las Vegas so he could get back to betting.
“It has definitely been sustainable financially,” Holzhauer said. “And I like the work. It gives me something to do.”
He added, “And I really like the feeling of winning.”B:
彩天下墨盒【过】【了】【良】【久】，【门】【外】【又】【传】【来】【一】【声】【吆】【喝】【声】：“【天】【兵】【阁】【阁】【主】【携】【长】【老】【弟】【子】【到】！” 【随】【着】【声】【音】【的】【传】【来】，【众】【人】【的】【话】【语】【声】【也】【开】【始】【消】【散】，【看】【向】【大】【殿】【门】【口】【处】。 【大】【殿】【门】【口】【不】【远】【处】，【有】【三】【人】【信】【步】【走】【来】，【为】【首】【的】【是】【一】【名】【干】【瘦】【老】【者】，【一】【身】【黑】【袍】，【神】【色】【带】【着】【阴】【冷】【之】【意】。 【此】【人】【便】【是】【边】【城】【的】【除】【却】【四】【大】【家】【族】【外】【的】【顶】【尖】【势】【力】，【天】【兵】【阁】【阁】【主】，【雷】【安】，【其】【性】【格】
【身】【处】【乱】【世】，【确】【实】【是】【不】【容】【易】！ 【此】【时】【襄】【阳】【郡】【以】【北】，【郦】【县】。 【夜】【光】【之】【下】，【小】【小】【的】【城】【中】，【四】【处】【燃】【烧】【着】【的】【熊】【熊】【烈】【火】。【特】【别】【是】【城】【南】【城】【东】【一】【地】，【熊】【熊】【火】【光】，【直】【接】【照】【亮】【了】【半】【个】【郦】【县】。 【城】【北】【的】【门】【楼】【之】【上】，【王】【逌】【负】【手】【而】【立】。【一】【身】【粗】【糙】【的】【破】【甲】，【竟】【然】【让】【王】【逌】【穿】【出】【来】【高】【档】【货】【的】【感】【觉】。 【望】【着】【城】【南】，【只】【听】【王】【逌】【长】【长】【的】【叹】【了】【一】【口】【气】，【接】【着】【沉】
【修】【炼】【了】【一】【个】【小】【时】【后】，【向】【修】【感】【觉】【良】【好】，【发】【现】【宝】【典】【果】【然】【可】【信】。 【在】【真】【正】【确】【定】【认】【证】【了】【有】【用】【后】，【向】【修】【召】【来】【了】【鲁】【尼】【向】【他】【谈】【论】【的】【自】【己】【与】【舅】【舅】【被】【刺】【杀】，【自】【己】【幸】【存】【的】【的】【事】【情】。 “【我】【说】【少】【爷】【怎】【么】【回】【来】【这】【么】【紧】【急】？【还】【是】【独】【自】【一】【人】，【原】【来】【你】【们】【是】【遭】【遇】【了】【刺】【杀】。 【该】【死】【的】【肯】【定】【是】【大】【主】【母】【这】【些】【人】【干】【的】，【真】【是】【万】【幸】，【幸】【亏】【少】【爷】【你】【活】【下】【来】，【可】【惜】【家】
【叶】【昂】【骤】【然】【睁】【开】【眼】【睛】，【浑】【身】【大】【汗】【淋】【漓】，【接】【着】【便】【是】【一】【副】【放】【弃】【治】【疗】【的】【模】【样】，【任】【由】【自】【己】【的】【躯】【体】【自】【半】【空】【中】【跌】【落】，【砸】【在】【木】【板】【上】【溅】【起】【无】【数】【的】【水】【花】。 【如】【果】【此】【时】【有】【力】【气】，【叶】【昂】【一】【定】【会】【破】【口】【大】【骂】。 【什】【么】【阴】【阳】【道】【衍】，【天】【机】【秘】【术】，【就】【是】【个】【坑】【货】！ 【鬼】【知】【道】【天】【机】【居】【然】【都】【混】【乱】【成】【了】【这】【个】【模】【样】，【在】【他】【意】【识】【借】【助】【元】【神】【访】【问】【天】【机】【数】【据】【的】【时】【候】，【那】【一】【片】
【齐】【雯】【做】【了】【一】【番】【思】【想】【斗】【争】【后】【决】【定】【了】，【自】【己】【好】【不】【容】【易】【遇】【到】【了】【一】【个】【喜】【欢】【的】【人】，【自】【己】【难】【道】【真】【的】【要】【放】【弃】【了】【吗】？【现】【在】【公】【司】【已】【经】【恢】【复】【到】【了】【正】【轨】，【自】【己】【总】【不】【能】【将】【他】【护】【在】【自】【己】【身】【后】【一】【辈】【子】【吧】！ 【想】【到】【了】【这】【些】【齐】【雯】【跟】【自】【己】【的】【弟】【弟】【经】【过】【了】【一】【番】【谈】【话】，【齐】【飞】【说】【道】“【姐】【对】【不】【起】，【之】【前】【都】【是】【我】【不】【好】【还】【总】【给】【你】【添】【乱】，【才】【会】【让】【你】【这】【么】【辛】【苦】【的】【是】【我】【不】【好】”【齐】【雯】彩天下墨盒【慕】【芷】【晴】【笑】【着】【点】【了】【点】【头】，“【想】。” “【那】【好】。”**【霆】【这】【才】【收】【回】【了】【目】【光】，【看】【向】【曲】【韵】【菲】，【道】：“【来】【吧】。” 【曲】【韵】【菲】【一】【边】【拿】【出】【了】【箭】【矢】，【一】【边】【打】【量】【着】【慕】【芷】【晴】，【她】【倒】【要】【看】【看】【这】【个】【女】【人】【是】【不】【是】【真】【的】【那】【么】【不】【要】【脸】，【竟】【然】【完】【全】【当】【之】【前】【的】【事】【情】【没】【有】【发】【生】【过】。 【慕】【芷】【晴】【跟】【着】**【霆】【走】【到】【了】【河】【边】，【这】【才】【注】【意】【到】【里】【边】【有】【着】【不】【少】【游】【鱼】。 【河】【水】
【在】【血】【公】【爵】【领】【地】【里】，【一】【群】【鱼】【人】【与】【地】【精】【混】【在】【一】【起】，【偷】【偷】【地】【潜】【行】【着】。 【不】【过】【这】【些】【鱼】【人】【感】【觉】【到】【有】【些】【古】【怪】，【为】【什】【么】【这】【领】【地】【里】【面】【的】【守】【卫】【有】【时】【不】【小】【心】【看】【到】【了】【鱼】【人】，【却】【没】【有】【把】【他】【们】【当】【成】【怪】【物】【来】【打】。 【这】【种】【情】【况】【一】【两】【次】【还】【好】，【次】【数】【多】【了】【就】【连】【鱼】【人】【也】【发】【现】【情】【况】【不】【对】。 【他】【们】【此】【时】【没】【有】【再】【往】【前】【走】，【而】【是】【找】【了】【一】【个】【地】【方】【藏】【起】【来】，【一】【只】【鱼】【人】【把】【跟】
【老】【大】【妈】【一】【聊】【起】【来】【就】【没】【完】【没】【了】，【聊】【完】【了】【张】【秀】【莲】，【又】【聊】【到】【聂】【大】【师】【上】【头】【了】，【表】【姐】【提】【起】【来】【就】【满】【腹】【牢】【骚】，“【年】【纪】【也】【不】【小】【了】，【还】【和】【小】【孩】【子】【一】【样】，【什】【么】【都】【不】【会】【做】，【万】【一】【哪】【天】【我】【闭】【眼】【了】，【他】【一】【个】【人】【可】【怎】【么】【办】，【愁】【死】【我】【了】。” “【给】【聂】【师】【傅】【找】【个】【媳】【妇】【吧】，【有】【个】【伴】【就】【好】【了】。”【表】【姨】【建】【议】。 【表】【姐】【却】【更】【愁】【了】，“【我】【早】【想】【过】【了】，【前】【前】【后】【后】【托】【人】【介】
【此】【时】【林】【家】【因】【为】【林】【牧】【生】【的】【事】【情】【闹】【得】【天】【翻】【地】【覆】，【甚】【至】【连】【仆】【人】【做】【事】【都】【要】【小】【心】【翼】【翼】，【伺】【候】【林】【牧】【生】【的】【仆】【人】【已】【经】【换】【了】【几】【波】【了】。 【林】【家】【他】【们】【硬】【是】【将】【左】【坤】【弄】【个】【翻】【天】【地】【覆】【也】【没】【有】【找】【到】【第】【五】【仲】【冉】。 “【你】【什】【么】【时】【候】【把】【严】【尊】【逊】【放】【出】【来】？”【第】【五】【仲】【冉】【缠】【着】【陌】【鸾】【问】【严】【尊】【逊】【的】【下】【落】。【现】【在】【她】【被】【困】【在】【客】【栈】【也】【不】【能】【出】【去】，【每】【日】【便】【追】【在】【陌】【鸾】【身】【后】【问】【她】【什】【么】【时】
【这】【时】【候】【风】【叶】【寒】【和】【风】【连】【蓉】【总】【算】【被】【眼】【前】【的】【情】【景】【给】【震】【惊】【清】【醒】【了】。 【虫】【子】【都】【跑】【出】【来】【的】【兽】【类】【也】【恢】【复】【了】【正】【常】，【它】【们】【或】【许】【被】【控】【制】【太】【久】【了】，【一】【下】【子】【清】【醒】【过】【来】，【还】【是】【很】【迷】【茫】。。。 【听】【到】【这】【美】【妙】【的】【乐】【声】，【它】【们】【没】【有】【立】【刻】【跑】【开】，【反】【而】【跟】【那】【些】【虫】【子】【一】【样】，【只】【是】【聚】【集】【在】【最】【外】【围】，【摇】【头】【晃】【脑】，【如】【痴】【如】【醉】。 【风】【叶】【寒】【清】【醒】【过】【立】【马】【拿】【起】【了】【火】【把】，