‘Jeopardy!’: Former Champ James Holzhauer Considers Recent Winning Streaks ‘Fairly Normal’

Viewers are witnessing somewhat of a Jeopardy! phenomenon in season 38. Current champ Amy Schneider just became the first woman to win more than $1 million on the game show and is continuing her streak with 29 victories to date. Schneider’s stint follows a rare line of contestants who racked up consecutive wins. Former champ James Holzhauer, who holds third place (for now) for most consecutive wins, recently shared his thoughts on the string of exceptional competitors.

'Jeopardy!' champion James Holzhauer poses at the IGT booth during the trade show debut of two "Jeopardy!"-themed IGT slot machines during the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) at the Sands Expo and Convention Center
Former ‘Jeopardy!’ champion James Holzhauer | David Becker/Getty Images

‘Jeopardy!’ season 38 started with the ‘Amodio Rodeo’

Yale student Matt Amodio was in the middle of his winning streak when the new season premiered. The Ohio native bumped Holzhauer to third place for consecutive wins, with a grand total of 38 victories after being defeated by Jonathan Fisher on Oct. 11.

Fisher went on to win 11 straight games, losing his podium to Tyler Rhode, who earned four wins. Rhode was followed by Andrew He, who was on a five-game streak and lost his lectern to Schneider, who recently crossed the million-dollar mark on Jeopardy!

Now, Schneider is closing in on former winner Holzhauer’s record of 32 consecutive wins. “Jeopardy! James”, a professional gambler, considers the extended stints of competitors this season purely coincidental.

“People always assume everything is a paradigm shift,” Holzhauer commented to the New York Times, as reported by Yahoo, “when it’s actually fairly normal for results to occasionally cluster.”

RELATED: Matt Amodio Gets Real on ‘Jeopardy!’ Loss and Theories That He Threw the Game

‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer noted the show’s ‘new normal’

Michael Davies replaced former executive producer Mike Richards after his ousting due to past controversial comments. Davies considers this season’s Jeopardy! clues to be more challenging and is pleased with the influx of brainiacs competing on the show.

“Behind the scenes we’ve spent a lot of time discussing whether this is some kind of ‘new normal’ or whether we’ve just had an unusual windfall of brilliant Jeopardy! players,” Davies said. “I actually think the show may be getting harder.”

Jeopardy! producers have apparently been trying to mix up the clues this season to cover a wider range of subjects, requiring contestants to step up their game.

“Let’s face it, so few people read the same books anymore or watch the same TV shows,” Davies remarked. “And we have massively diversified the history, cultural and pop cultural material we expect our players to compete over.”

Amy Schneider joined the ranks of the ‘Jeopardy!’ millionaires club

Schneider became a part of a lucrative club when she went over the million-dollar threshold on Jan. 7. Holzhauer and Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings both won over $2 million on the iconic game show, and Amodio went home with $1.5 million. Schneider is more focused on being a part of Jeopardy!’s legacy than the cash prize.

“It’s not a sum of money I ever anticipated would be associated with my name,” Scheider said, according to CNBC. “Being in the history of the game I think is something. You know, the money doesn’t feel real yet but that is something that I will never not be proud of.”

As of this publication, Schneider stands at 29 wins and a jackpot of $1,035,400. Her next Jeopardy! game takes place on Jan. 11.

RELATED: Why ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Matt Amodio Isn’t a Fan of This James Holzhauer Strategy