If you’re a fan of game shows and gambling, then you probably may have come across the name James Holzhauer for at least once. James Holzhauer is famous as a game show contestant, and also as a professional sports gambler. James Holzhauer net worth is a befitting amount of money which serves as evidence of the famous gambler’s gambling and gameshows-contesting success.
James Holzhauer Net Worth 2020
You have to give credit to this man for being a successful gambler, who has managed to accumulate an estimated net worth of $2 million, all from contesting in game shows and actively gambling.
James Holzhauer made a huge part of his wealth by contesting in the trivia game show Jeopardy! in 2019, participating in 33 episodes of the show, making a total of $2,464,216 in prize money. His earning makes him the fourth highest-earning American game show participant of all time. He is the third highest-earner on Jeopardy!.
Now that you have read about James Holzhauer net worth and how he made his wealth, let’s take you through a ride of various other interesting aspects of James Holzhauer’s life, early life, education history, Marriage, family, children, and his ultimate rise to stardom.
James Holzhauer Biography
James Holzhauer was born in Naperville, Illinois, United States, in July 1984 to a German father, Juergen Holzhauer and his mother Nachiko Ide Holzhauer. His father was an immigrant who worked at a chemical company as an engineer for 32 years. His elder brother is Ian Holzhauer, an attorney. According to his brother Ian, as a child, James Holzhauer never needed a calculator.
As a child, James regularly watched Jeopardy! with his Japanese grandma, who had moved to the United States to help raise her grandchildren. While she couldn’t follow the show as she barely understood English, he promised her that he would be on the show one day. He dedicated his biggest win of $131,127 on the show to his late grandma.
Early Life & Gambling
When he was four years old, James Holzhauer surprised his teacher with his arithmetic skills, prompting his teacher to engage him in an advanced coursework. At seven, James skipped second grade following his mother’s urging, and moved up to a fìfth-grade math class. While he got straight A’s in maths and competed on the Napervílle North High School maths team, the rest of his overall grade remained C’s as he often missed classes to engage in other things like playing online poker. In fact, James spent so much time memorizing statistics about games like professional wrestling and baseball that his parents had to rebuke him for “wasting his life”. However, as a part of the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Team, he took first place in physics and came second in math to help his team win the state competition at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
James Holzhauer appeared in a game show for the first time when he made his appearance on the quiz show The Chase on September 2, 2014, and immediately made a 12-answer record on the 1-minute segment Cash Builder, which stayed unbeaten till the end of the show. He also answered nineteen questions for his team in Final Chase round to create a record that remained unbeaten.
On April 4 2019, James Holzhauer appeared for the very first time on the trivia game show Jeopardy!. He was outstanding on this show, having a phenomenal run for the next sixty days during which he consecutively won 32 games, earning over $2.46 million in prize money.
Rise to Fame
Within two months as an active participant of the trivia game Jeopardy!, James Holzhauer created several records on the show which remain unbeaten even when his winning streak was broken. On his first appearance, James won the highest single-game total of $43,680 for the season till then.
On April 9, 2019, he not only surpassed his former earning, but also broke the all-time single-game winning record of $77,000 by Roger Craig with his $110,914 win. He repeated this feat 15 more times in the next few months, and set the new highest single-game win record of $131,127 on April 17, 2019. He is also the only contestant to win over $100,000 in one episode, a feat which he achieved for a record six times. He became particularly famed for going after high-value clues firstly and for waging aggressively when he hit a Daily Double. Quite interestingly, his 32-win streak was broken by his challenger Emma Boettcher, who employed a similar strategy. While James had surprised many viewers by waging a meager $1,399 against her $20,201 in the Final Jeopardy of the July 3, 2019 episode, his opponent later revealed in an interview that she wasn’t surprised as that was a predictable option by the books.
James Holzhauer answered the final clue correctly, but he was stopped from retaining the title by his low wager.
Is James Holzhauer Married?
James Holzhauer is a married man. He got married to Melissa Sassin in 2012.
Melissa Sassin is a fellow trivia champion. She is a tutor from Seattle, Washington. She won $28,800 as a participant on the trivia show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2014.
Together, they reside in Las Vegas, Nevada with their daughter named Natasha, who was born in 2014.