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James Holzhauer Becomes Second Highest Cash Winning Player in 'Jeopardy!' History

James Holzhauer has climbed to second place on Jeopardy!’s all-time cash-winning list after just eight games. Holzhauer, 34, is now second only to Ken Jennings, who won 74 games in a row in 2004 to take home $2,520,700.

Holzhauer, 34, is a professional sports gambler from Las Vegas. That “go big or go home” philosophy helped shoot him to the top of the rankings, so far winning $460,479. He achieved that by placing huge wagers on the Daily Doubles.

“When I watch at home, I always root for the contestants to bet big on Daily Doubles. They get them right most of the time, and it can give them a big leg up on the competition,” Holzhauer said. “I’m proud of myself for sticking to that attitude when it was my money on the line.”

Related: 'Jeopardy!' Host Alex Trebek Announces Cancer Diagnosis 

Dave Madden was the previous holder of the number-two spot behind Jennings, earning $430,400 over the course of 19 games. 

Jeopardy!, which is produced by Sony Pictures Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, is in its 35th season.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.