Top 3 'Jeopardy!' Champs to Face Off on Alex Trebek-Hosted Special

November 18, 2019

All eyes are on James Holzhauer.

After his impressive feat on “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions, Holzhauer is hoping to prove that he is the GOAT once again on the upcoming multi-night tournament aptly titled, “Greatest of All Time.”

The bold and risky player is squaring off against the biggest contestants in “Jeopardy!” history, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.

Jennings and Rutter made their mark on the quiz show in 2011 after taking on IBM’s Watson. They returned in March for the All-Stars match.

“The fact that it took somebody to play it like a riverboat gambler ... we had never seen anyone like this,” ABC reality programming chief Rob Mills told USA Today. “We had to make this happen,” he added noting Holzhauer’s spectacular winning streak.

All three players have jaw-dropping statistics and have been ratings magnets; “Jeopardy!” spiked from an average of 8.8 million viewers to 14 million during Holzhauer's run.

Rutter ($4.6 million) and Jennings ($3.3 million and 74-consecutive wins) could give the 35-year-old contest a run for his money.

However, Holzhauer set a record for single-game wins on April 17th and has a 23-game streak of 2.46 million.

“When James had his run last year, a lot of people were wondering, well how would he do against Ken Jennings? How would he do against Brad Rutter? (They’re) our two most successful players in "Jeopardy!" history,” says host Alex Trebek said in an interview with USA Today . “These three players have won close to $10 million in ‘Jeopardy!’ prize money and over 100 games among them, so it was logical.”

The first contestant to win three games will score the grand prize, while remaining contestants will go home with $250,000 each.

The tournament will air two back-to-back games weeknights at 8 EST/PST starting Jan. 7, marking the first prime time airing of the original “Jeopardy!” in 30 years.

“Jeopardy!” previously aired on a major network prime time for a special edition of “Super Jeopardy!” in the summer of 1990.

Depending on how the game pans out, the GOAT tournament can go anywhere from three to seven days. 

If necessary, additional episodes will air on Friday and again the week of Jan. 14-16.

The GOAT tournament announcement comes a few months after Trebek, the beloved host, revealed his battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Despite undergoing multiple rounds chemotherapy, Trebek said he has no plans of stepping down from hosting duties. 

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