The top three Jeopardy! champions, James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter will face-off against each other to discover who is the greatest Jeopardy! player of all-time. Legendary trivia game show Jeopardy!, consisting of host Alex Trebek, blue box panels, and nuggets of wisdom, has sported a fair share of champions over the years. In April, Holzhauer took the game show by storm with his dominating game play and snagged 32 consecutive wins . This put him on track to surpass Jeopardy!’s all-time champion, Jennings.
Earlier this year, Jeopardy! became the talk of the town when Trebek revealed in a somber message that he’d been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Unrelentingly, Trebezk continued his hosting duties and returned for season 36. Trebek’s grave announcement coincided with the game-changing antics of Holzhauer, and viewers of Jeopardy! became enthralled by Holzhauer’s winning streak. However, Holzhauer’s time on Jeopardy! came to an end when he lost a game to librarian Emma Bottcher, albeit with the correct answer. As it stands, the reigning Jeopardy! champion is Jennings, who tapped out at just over $2.5 million in 74 games. Jennings was dethroned in 2004 after providing the wrong answer to a question about taxes. Currently, Rutter holds the title of Jeopardy!’s highest earner after snagging over $4 million. He also remains the only contestant never defeated by a human opponent; in 2011 he lost a match to IBM super-computer, Watson.
Last week, Holzhauer returned for the emotional Tournament of Champions and pocketed the grand prize of $250,000. Recently, Jennings declared he could give Holzhauer a healthy dose of competition to claim the top Jeopardy! title. Now, that battle appears to be on the horizon. As reported to TVLine, ABC has announced that Jennings, Rutter, and Holzhauer will compete in the multi-night primetime event Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time. Vying for a grand prize of $1 million, the intelligent trio will compete in a series of matches.
Beginning January 7, 2020, Greatest of All Time will air for at least three consecutive weeknights. The first contestant to win three matches will receive the grand prize, while the other two will each receive $250,000. Set to preside over the competition, Trebek spoke out about the combatants stating, “Based on their previous performances, these three are already the ‘greatest’ but you can’t help wondering: who is the best of the best?" ABC is prepared to extend Jeopardy! into the following week in the event the contestants keep the showdown going.
Jeopardy! is America’s favorite game show for multiple reasons. The program has become part of the family during its syndication and welcomed into the homes of millions. Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter brought a spark to the seemingly docile trivia show and left fans wondering what would happen if they simultaneously toted a Jeopardy! buzzer. It is inevitable, however, that one day the show will change for good. Trebek has been considering an early Jeopardy! exit, but it's important the beloved host be behind the podium to reveal the true Jeopardy! Champion for what may be his last episodes.