Carol Kaelson, Jeopardy Productions, Inc. via Associated Press
This file image made from video and provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc. shows "Jeopardy!" contestant James Holzhauer on an episode that aired on April 17, 2019. On his 14th appearance Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Holzhauer eclipsed the $1 million mark in winnings.

SALT LAKE CITY — “Jeopardy!” star James Holzhauer squeaked by on Monday night by winning his 18th game in a row by just $18, CNN reports.

Holzhauer’s victory came during the Final Jeopardy question. He’s been on a good run on the competition game show. But on Monday night, he faced his toughest competition yet.

He went into the last question with $33,517. Adam Levin, who finished in second place, had $27,000.

The clue: "The oldest of these business booster groups, formed in Marseille in 1599, use ‘de’ instead of ‘of’ in the name."

The answer: What is "Chamber of Commerce"?

Holzhauer ended the game with $54,017, while Levin finished with $53,999. That’s right. He won by just $18.

Holzhauer now has $1,329,604 total throughout his run.

Why it matters: “Holzhauer has often cruised into Final Jeopardy without any pressure on him, but this time he showed he can still nail the right answer with an opponent breathing down his neck. His total is now over $1.3 million, but as contestants recognize his strategy it will be interesting to see if anyone can beat him at his own game, as Levin nearly did,” according to Uproxx.

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  • Levin might have been the first competitor to recognize the strategy. According to The Chicago Tribune, Levin was a carryover contestant who saw Holzhauer play five games before getting his own run at the champ.
  • “The benefit to the challenger was a chance to watch the champion’s strategy so he could go into the game with an idea of how to match it,” the Tribune reported, based on information from Andy Saunders of The Jeopardy Fan.
  • According to The Chicago Tribune, Monday night’s close game was the second time in 18 games that Holzhauer faced such tough competition.

Bigger picture: Holzhauer continues to run through his “Jeopardy!” competition, which has drawn comparisons to legend Ken Jennings. As my colleague Arianna Rees reported, there’s a chance Holzhauer could beat Jennings’ record.