‘Jeopardy!’: The Show’s Highest-Paid Winners of All-Time

by Atlanta Northcutt
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Other than Ken Jennings, who are the nine biggest winners of the trivia game show Jeopardy?

The average earnings from the show are approximately $20,000. However, these contestants went above and beyond this amount to become the biggest winners in Jeopardy history.

Jeopardy’s Greatest Winners of All Time

1. Brad Rutter

The “Greatest of All Time” contestant, the clever Brad Rutter won the largest reward in the history of the show receiving $5,153,436 from his time on Jeopardy. Rutter is known for his intelligence and going against fellow contestant Ken Jennings. He became a regular contestant following his original appearance in 2000.

2. Ken Jennings

Jennings is the most renowned winner after becoming the No. 1. “Greatest of All Time” winner in 2020. He first began his role as the top contestant 17 years ago when he first took the stage in 2004. Ken maxed out at $4,522,700 upon winning last year’s game. He had a 74 game streak.

The former contestant hosted the game following the passing of Alex Trebek.

3. James Holzhauer

Holzhauer topped out at $2,962,216 during his time on Jeopardy. He was able to turn his appearances on the show into a successful game show career. He was quick to hit the buzzer and gamble everything on popular and larger reward questions.

The sports’ gambler earned over $131,000 in just one game, beating Roger Craig’s number. He also placed second in winning game streaks following his 32-game wins. The game show “The Chase” and its reboot have used Craig in its shows.

Remaining 4 Top Winners on Jeopardy

4. David Madden

This player earns the fourth spot by winning $773,733. His 19-game winning streak ties him with Zuffranieri as the fourth-longest. He ended up splitting the $1 million with fellow players Jennings and Kelly.

5. Larissa Kelly

Most of Kelly’s $660,930 comes from her time spent on Jeopardy. She is the first woman to reach a winning streak that lasted for five episodes. A future contestant, David Maddox, inspired his friend’s winnings. She spent her $1 million earnings when she split it with her fellow contestants.

6. Jason Zuffranieri

Zuffranieri applied nine times to get on the show. He ended up with an impressive $532,496, in his pocket. He selected the harder questions located at the bottom of the board.

7. Roger Craig

This computer scientist downloaded and categorized over $2,000 clues in order to find which categories were used the most. This strategy was used to beat the quiz system “Watson” winning Craig $530,200. He held the most record won during one game with over $77,000.

8. Colby Burnett

Colby Burnett has his own day in Illinois, Dec. 18 by the state’s former governor. He is the only champion to win the “Teachers Tournament” and “Tournament of Champions” gave him $480,334. Burnett bought his mother a condo with his winnings since she worked hard to pay for his private school education.

9. Julia Collins

Julia Collins first appeared on Jeopardy in 2014. She has a winning streak of 20 games and received a hefty total of $428,100 during her regular seasons. Collins is the only female contestant in the Jeopardy Hall of Fame. She was also a participant in many of the tournaments and special events, which gave her an extra $50,000.

10. Matt Jackson

Contestant Matt Jackson stands out for his lightning-fast buzzer skills earning him $413,612. He also won a bonus of $100,000 from the show’s Tournament of Champions. Jackson read books by Ken Jennings and Bob Harris as a strategy to beat the machine.

Jackson appeared in the 2015 “Tournament of Champions” and 2019 “All-Star Games.” His main success was winning 13 games back-to-back. Ultimately, he wasn’t knowledgeable enough to win the entire season.

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