'Jeopardy!' champ James Holzhauer reflects on Ken Jennings comparison

"Jeopardy!" champ James Holzhauer used a baseball metaphor this week when asked about "Jeopardy" legend Ken Jennings, who won more than $2.5 million.

Holzhauer, Naperville native, said that on one side is Ichiro Suzuki, a rock-solid singles hitter. On the other side is Bryce Harper, who is known for his home run or bust plays.

"It's really an honor to be compared to Ken at all, but I think it's interesting because we have such different approaches to the game. You know. Sports metaphor. He's like an Ichiro, a best single hitter of all times. I'm a Las Vegas guy, Bryce Harper, swinging for the fences and going to strike out a lot. Both guys can be successful with different ways of playing which is pretty cool," Holzhauer said.

Holzhauer, a Naperville North High School alum, is now a sports gambler in Las Vegas, where the Knights hockey team was recently in the playoffs.

"Someone came up to me and said, 'That last game was painful, you got to play better tonight.' I said, 'Okay, I'll do my best.' I realized she was wearing a Knights jersey ... There's a hockey game tonight. She may not be talking about jeopardy," Holzhauer said.

Standing on this stage is something Holzhauer promised his grandma when he was a boy. Now, 25 years later, here's a question for him: How do you know the responses so quickly?

"It's a continual process. The writers put little clues into the wording and you sometimes focus on a single word and you're like - ah ha - that's what they're trying to get me," Holzhauer said.

How long can this winning streak continue?


On Monday's show, he won again. His 18-day grand total is now $1,329,604.

Watch "Jeopardy!" at 3:30 p.m. weekdays on ABC7.
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