Which ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Has the Highest Net Worth – James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, or Brad Rutter?
Jeopardy!’s The Greatest of All Time competition turned out to be a ratings hit in January 2020. With trivia masters James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter facing off for the impressive title plus a $1 million prize, ABC took note of the trio’s popularity.
Though Jennings achieved the coveted G.O.A.T. status, all three competitors were recruited by the network to head the new game show The Chase. Between their recent television contracts and previous Jeopardy! winnings, fans may wonder which trivia master has the biggest bank account.
James Holzhauer earns $2+ million and a nickname
During his 33-game stint on Jeopardy! in 2019, Holzhauer racked up $2.46 million in winnings on the game show. A professional gambler and Las Vegas resident, Holzhauer had a risky yet profitable strategy of jumping around the board for the highest profits. When he landed on a coveted Daily Double, Holzhauer had no problem going “all in” on his wager.
“I definitely had the idea right away,” he told The New York Times in 2019. “You can see as soon as I get control of the board in the first game I’m going for the $1,000 clues whenever I have the opportunity.”
Married to Melissa Sassin since 2012, the couple welcomed a daughter in 2014. Earning the moniker “Jeopardy James” after his successful run on the show, Holzhauer previously appeared in 2014 as a contestant on the original American version of the British game show, The Chase. Now heading the revamped show along with Jennings and Rutter, Holzhauer’s network contract is adding to his hefty income.
“It will be fun to have a friendly rivalry with Ken and Brad,” Holzhauer told the Review Journal. “And I’m sure they’ll let me hear it if a team ever beats me.”
Holzhauer’s net worth is listed at $2 million.
Ken Jennings still holds ‘Jeopardy!’ record
Earning the title as Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time in January 2020, Jennings maintains the record for the longest winning streak after 74 straight victories on the show during his original run in 2004. The Seattle resident is scheduled as the game show’s first guest host to step in for the late Alex Trebek, who died on Nov. 8.
“There will only ever be one Alex Trebek,” Jennings wrote on Twitter in November 2020, “but I’m honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January.”
Married to Mindy Jennings since 2000, the game show champ and his wife have two children together. Jennings has authored several books and holds degrees in computer science and english. Also bringing home cash from Jeopardy’s previous Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Jennings has raked in over $3 million from the quiz competition. The trivia master was also asked to serve as a goodwill ambassador and consultant on the show.
“That’s the thing about Jeopardy!” Jennings told TV Insider in November 2020. “It’s kind of in the fabric of our lives. They have good memories of watching it. People plan their evenings around it.”
Celebrity Net Worth lists Jennings total at $4 million.
Brad Rutter has his own ‘Jeopardy!’ claim to fame
While Jennings holds the record for Jeopardy’s longest winning streak, Rutter still claims the title for the show’s highest-winning contestant with more than $4.6 million in prize money over two decades. Though Rutter is clearly a brainiac, he visibly struggled during the G.O.A.T. tournament.
“I couldn’t get the buzzer mojo going, and that has usually been one of my strengths,” Rutter told the Washington Post in January 2020, after placing in third for the competition. “So when you’re dealing with a match like this, it can come down to a 100th of a second in terms of timing. Ken and James were able to get that down, and unfortunately I wasn’t.”
Rutter competed on other game shows including 1 vs. 100 and the original American version of The Chase. He also served as an in-person lifeline on ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? for celebrity contestant Catherine O’Hara.
Tying with Jennings, Rutter’s net worth comes in at $4 million.
The Chase is scheduled to premiere on ABC on Jan. 7.