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The Highest-Earning Jeopardy! Winners of All Time

Michele Debczak
Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek congratulates record-breaking champion Ken Jennings in 2004.
Legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek congratulates record-breaking champion Ken Jennings in 2004. / Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images
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On January 7, 2022, Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider became the fourth person in the game show's history to surpass $1 million in regular season winnings—and the first woman to do so.

It's hard enough to make it onto Jeopardy!, let alone win a game. But a small group of contestants has exceeded that goal many times over by taking home record-breaking prizes. Below, you can see which players made Jeopardy! history both in single episodes and their entire run.

Fans of the game show should recognize some names in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame. Ken Jennings is at the top with the greatest cumulative winnings, excluding tournaments. He racked up $2,520,700 during his historic 74-game run in 2004.

Despite claiming numerous Jeopardy! superlatives, Jennings (who writes our weekly Kennections quizzes) doesn't appear on the list of highest single-game winnings. All 10 spots on the ranking are held by James Holzhauer, who smashed the program's records with his bold betting strategy. In the episode that aired on April 17, 2019, he earned $131,127 in one game.

Unlike other game shows, it takes more than luck to become a Jeopardy! all-star. After reading the lists of the highest overall winnings and highest single-game winnings below, check out these secrets of past Jeopardy! contestants.

Highest Regular-Season Play Winnings

  1. Ken Jennings // $2,520,700
  2. James Holzhauer // $2,462,216
  3. Matt Amodio // $1,518,601
  4. Amy Schneider // $1,019,600
  5. Jason Zuffranieri // $532,496
  6. David Madden // $430,400
  7. Julia Collins // $428,100
  8. Matt Jackson // $411,612
  9. Austin Rogers // $411,000
  10. Arthur Chu // $297,200

Highest Single Game Winnings

  1. James Holzhauer // $131,127
  2. James Holzhauer // $130,022
  3. James Holzhauer // $118,816
  4. James Holzhauer // $110,914
  5. James Holzhauer // $106,181
  6. James Holzhauer // $101,682
  7. James Holzhauer // $96,726
  8. James Holzhauer // $90,812
  9. James Holzhauer // $90,812
  10. James Holzhauer // $89,229

A version of this story ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2022.

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