Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer is now the second-biggest winner in the show's history—and while he has a long way to go to catch Ken Jennings, he may not have to match Jennings' 74-game winning streak to get there. The 34-year-old professional sports gambler won for the ninth time in a row Tuesday and almost matched the record he set last week for highest one-day total, the Chicago Tribune reports. A $40,000 Final Jeopardy win brought his total for the day to $106,181, just behind the record-breaking $110,914 he won on April 9. He has now won a total of $566,660, USA Today reports. Jennings won $2,520,700 in 2004.
Holzhauer tells Vulture that his gambling background helped him develop his "cold-blooded" and "strategically aggressive" playing style. He says he decided to audition for the show in honor of his grandmothers, who used to watch it with him when he was a kid. "Her first language wasn’t English, so she couldn’t follow along well, but she wanted to share this experience with me since she saw it was something I really liked. I promised her I’d one day be up on that stage for her," he says. "To me, it’s fulfilling the promise I made to her 25 years ago. Once I really decided to take this seriously, I wasn’t going to half-ass it." He says he has already achieved his goal: Winning $110,914 to honor his daughter's Nov. 9, 2014 birthday. (Read more Jeopardy stories.)