'Jeopardy!' champ Jason Zuffranieri becomes third contestant ever to earn $500K

USA Today Entertainment 1 month ago

Jason Zuffranieri is only the third "Jeopardy!" contestant in history to earn more than half a million dollars in the show's regular-season play.

On Tuesday, the math teacher from Albuquerque, New Mexico, won his 18th game. His current total: $502,096

Zuffranieri still needs to win two more games in order to tie the third-best "Jeopardy!" record in the game show's history. Ahead of Zuffranieri, Dave Madden has won 19 games, Julia Collins has won 20 games, James Holzhauer has 32 and Ken Jennings, 74.

"Jeopardy Jason" still has ways to go to catch up with Holzhauer's grand total ($2,462,216) and Jennings' winnings ($2,520,700).

Holzhauer, the outspoken big-dollar bettor from earlier this year, has been joking on Twitter about Zuffranieri's success.

"All he needs to do is average $126,570 for his next sixteen games and the prophecy will come true," he tweeted with an article asking if Zuffranieri is "the next James Holzhauer". Holzhauer later posted a Nicolas Cage GIF of Zuffranieri "watching the dollars roll in."

Zuffranieri will work to continue his streak Wednesday against two new challengers.

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