James Holzhauer is the second-winningest contestant in the quiz show’s history

By Natalie Stone
May 03, 2019 04:19 PM
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Throughout his history-making winning streak on Jeopardy!, James Holzhauer has learned a thing or two about longtime host Alex Trebek.

Holzhauer, who snagged his 21st win on Thursday evening’s episode, revealed in a recent interview that Trebek’s vocabulary is a bit more colorful when the cameras aren’t rolling.

“I learned that Alex Trebek has a potty mouth once the cameras aren’t recording,” Holzhauer, 34, said in an interview with SAMS Salmon, the official student newspaper of Shaler Area Middle School.

The Las Vegas resident and professional sports gambler told the outlet that he took Jeopardy!‘s online test annually starting in 2006 but “started seriously trying to get on the show in 2012.”

“I had wanted to be on the show since childhood, when I watched with my beloved Granny,” he shared. “I promised her I would be on the show one day, so I always felt I owed it to her.”

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His 21st win made him the second-winningest contestant in the quiz show’s history.

However, the trivia wunderkind still has a long way to go toward beating Ken Jennings’ record, which is set at a whopping 74 games. (Holzhauer is 21 games down, with 53 to go!)

What’s even more impressive than Holzhauer’s winning streak is the fact that he’s raked in a total of $1,608,627, which is the second-highest amount ever won during regular season play.

Jeopardy

On Friday, Holzhauer will return to Jeopardy! for his 22nd game, hosted by Trebek.

Although the show is now on summer hiatus, Trebek assured fans in a previous video message that despite his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, he will be back for season 36 in the fall.

“Some of you may recall that at the beginning of this season I promised you that we had some surprises in store for you,” Trebek, 78, who has hosted the show since it first premiered in syndication back in September 1984, said in the clip.

He said: “Well, of course, I had no idea at that time that there were some surprises in store for me as well. So here, on the last day of taping for our 35th anniversary season, I want to once again thank you for your continuing messages of encouragement and support. Particularly, the many cards I have received from young people. I am touched beyond words.”

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“I’ve always tried to be straight with you and I’m not going to stop now,” he continued. “So, despite what you may have heard, I’m feeling good, I’m continuing with my therapy and we — by we, the staff — is already working on our next season, the 36th year of Jeopardy! So I look forward to seeing you once again in September with all kinds of good stuff.”

Jeopardy! airs weekdays (check local listings).