James Holzhauer Wins Opening Round of ‘Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions’

Standout player advances to next week’s semifinals

“Jeopardy” standout James Holzhauer is one step closer to being crowned overall champion, winning his opening round Wednesday in the game show’s “Tournament of Champions.”

The former champion returned to the “Jeopardy!” stage for the “Tournament of Champions” along with 15 other top contenders from the last two seasons. As predicted, the Las Vegas native made it through to the next round, which means he’ll also appear in the semi-finals next week, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He won Wednesday’s episode against Alan Dunn, a software development manager from Johns Creek, Georgia, and Lindsey Shultz, a physician and healthcare analyst from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a correctly answered question about American singer Marian Anderson, which scored him $30,635, the Tribune reported.

Holzhauer’s 32-game, $2,462,216 winning streak on “Jeopardy!” made him a household name earlier this summer, but it ended just shy of Ken Jennings’ all-time winnings record of $2,520,700 when Emma Boettcher stopped the trivia-machine in his tracks on June 3, just $58,484 away from the record.

Boettcher returns to try her hand in the tournament on Thursday, where she’ll face Eric R. Backes, an attorney and government relations professional from Oviedo, Florida, and Josh Hill, a network engineer from North Little Rock, Arkansas.

In Week 2 of the tournament, the semifinals air Monday, Nov. 11 – Wednesday, Nov. 13 and the two-day finals air Thursday, Nov. 14 and Friday, Nov. 15. The winner will claim the $250,000 grand prize, while the second-place finisher earns $100,000, and third place takes home $50,000.