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Alex Trebek is a beloved figure of television, and if anyone wants to know more about him, this would be the perfect book.
James Holzhauer, a professional gambler and the fourth highest earning American game show contestant of all time, just had his thirty-two game Jeopardy! winning streak broken, after losing to a University of Chicago librarian, Emma Boettcher.
Nicknamed “Jeopardy James”, his winning streak lasted from April to June of this year. He attained celebrity ranking for his complex technique and strategic approach to the game. “Being a Jeopardy! champion means something different than I thought it ever would” Holzhauer said after his loss to Boettcher, via Jeopardy!’s Twitter account. “People need to play to win. Emma dominated her warm up games. I knew she would make an extremely tough challenger.” Holzhauer had won $2,460,000, prior to losing to Boettcher. His total winnings were just shy of Ken Jenning’s combined earnings of $2,520,000.
According to BBC news, the twenty-seven-year-old librarian wrote her master’s thesis on predicting the difficulty of trivia questions using text features at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In an interview with Chicago Tribune, Boettcher said that she will arrange to use her total winnings of $46,801 to pay off student loans, and give back to her alma mater’s school of Information and Library Science.
“When they said thirty-two (game winning streak), I almost thought they were joking.” Boettcher said in an interview via Jeopardy!’s Twitter account, regarding Holzhauer’s winning streak. “But then it became clear during the game that he definitely earned it.”
Featured Image Via New York Post
Television viewers are mesmerized by James Holzhauer, the professional sports gambler and Jeopardy! contestant who has garnered $1.5 million winnings in his incredible run on the show and is on track to beat the record for most money won (which is currently $2.4 million). Simply by betting big on Daily Doubles and going in on the hardest questions for the most money, Holzhauer has turned the popular game show into his own personal A.T.M. machine.
How he manages to make so much money can be attributed to his nearly encyclopedic knowledge of current events. Holzhauer credits this knowledge not to large history books or encyclopedias, but to children’s books.
In several different interviews, beginning with one in The New York Times, Holzhauer said he uses children’s books to gain as much trivia knowledge as possible for the show:
“I have a strategy of reading children’s books to gain knowledge. I’ve found that in an adult reference book, if it’s not a subject I’m interested in, I just can’t get into it.”
Since Holzhauer has a four-year-old daughter, he uses the books she has, along with ones he checks out himself, to gain basic knowledge of the kind of questions that appear on the show. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s one that works for him:
“Easily the hardest Jeopardy! categories to study in the kids’ section are the so-called “trashy” pop culture ones. No kids’ book would have helped me name the lead singer of the Pixies or the movie about two Chicago men on a mission from God. I think this is the only thing that would stop a bright 10-year-old from winning on adult Jeopardy!”
Even though he uses these books to gain knowledge, Holzhauer does admit that he sometimes reads them for fun:
“I really like the works of Martin Gardner, who might count as a children’s author. But when I read for fun, it’s usually a bridge book — my shelf is full of them yet I keep asking for more.”
Who would have thought you could become a millionaire on Jeopardy! Simply be reading children’s books?
Featured Image Via Chicago Tribune