“Jeopardy” star James Holzhauer is now just behind Ken Jennings in all-time wins.

SALT LAKE CITY — “Jeopardy!” star James Holzhauer is now behind only Ken Jennings in all-time wins.

Holzhauer earned his 20th victory on “Jeopardy!” Wednesday night. It moves him into a second-place tie with Julia Collins for most consecutive wins on the show, according to USA Today.

Holzhauer remains well behind Jennings, who holds the record with 74 consecutive victories. Of course, “Jeopardy!” didn’t start allowing winners to make more than five appearances until 2003.

Holzhauer earned $101,682 on Wednesday. His total sits now at $1,528,012, which is more than halfway to Jennings’ total of $2.5 million. He has achieved this feat by participating in only a quarter of Jennings’ appearances.

Flashback: Holzhauer had a relatively easy win on Monday night to earn his 19th straight win. But his 18th consecutive victory was a close call. He only won that day’s show by $18, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

Unique strategy: Holzhauer has a unique strategy for “Jeopardy!” which he explained to The New York Times last week. He always picks the high-value clues first.

3 comments on this story
  • "You can see as soon as I get control of the board in the first game, I’m going for the $1,000 clues whenever I have the opportunity," he said.
  • "There are big advantages to having a lot of chips early on in a poker tournament. You can make plays that other people can’t."

Yes, but: Michael Day, a former contestant on “Jeopardy!,” criticized Holzhauer’s run in an article for The Atlantic, saying it will only earn him higher earnings but put him at risk of losing since he deals with such high numbers, which I wrote about for the Deseret News.

“With this strategy, I think he has a good shot at beating Jennings’ overall earnings, but I don’t see him winning anywhere near the 74 consecutive games Jennings won,” Day wrote.