Former winner: ‘Jeopardy!’ champ is ‘out of control’


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Over the last month, professional sports gambler James Holzhauer has racked up record prizes while dominating on the gameshow “Jeopardy!”

The record for winnings was once held by Chuck Forrest of Grand Blanc, Michigan.

“This guy’s out of control,” Forrest said of Holzhauer in a Monday Skype interview with 24 Hour News 8. “It’s amazing. I don’t really understand.”

Forrest, who was on “Jeopardy!” in 1985, is considered one of the best to have ever played the game. The rules were different when he was on the show: You could only win five games in a row and the prize money was cut in half.

Still a fan of the show, Forrest has been watching the latest star rise.

“At first I thought he was just incredibly lucky. Because part of it is the fact that if you get a Daily Double wrong, that could be the end of the game. And if you are not way ahead at the end of Double Jeopardy, then you could lose as well if you get the Final Jeopardy wrong, so there’s a lot of luck involved, but he just seems to be a complete steamroller,” Forrest said.

He explained that there are advantages and disadvantages to being the returning champ.

“He’s been up there, he knows the buzzer, he’s used to the atmosphere,” Forrest said of Holzhauer. “And other people are nervous. They’re afraid that Alex Trebek will say something about them embarrassing.”

He said one challenge Holzhauer faces is fatigue. Episodes are recorded back-to-back, five in a day.

“I think he’ll get tired. That’s the thing, You get out there and over and over and you got to run back and change clothes after each show,” he said. “Somebody’s going to come and they’re going to be fresh and he’s going to make a mistake and that will be the end of it.”

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