The best thing about the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament is that even if you don’t follow Jeopardy! at all, you probably still know who these three guys are. And if you do follow Jeopardy!, you definitely know who they are: Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter are the most successful players of the popular trivia game show ever. And now, they are duking-it-out in a battle royale bloodbath as Alex Trebeck watches and thinks about how these guys are total jokers. But who is winning? And who is going to win? Here’s how it stands right now.
Spoilers for Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time. Yeah, just in case you want to stream it and find out for yourself, I’m warning you now.
The first round of Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time is over, and, historically, it went about how you might have thought. Ken Jennings won handily. However, it is not even close to being over. Here’s how the tournament is going to go down.
Every day, for as long as it takes, Jennings, Holzhauer, and Rutter will play Jeopardy for an hour, which means two games per episode. Each of these games is considered a “match.” Once you win three “matches,” you’re the winner. So far, Jennings has won the first match, which means if he wins two more (four games total) he will be considered the greatest ever. In fairness, some people already think he is. Although Holzhauer came close to breaking Jennings’s record last year, Holzhauer’s strategy is connected to his gambling background, rather than actual knowledge. Meanwhile, although Rutter had an impressive record, the rules of Jeopardy! at the time he had his streak prevented him from winning more games in a row. In other words, we don’t really know if Rutter has the same winning-streak potential of Jennings and Holzhauer. He’s good, but historically we don’t know how good.
If the match is really just between Jennings and Holzhauer, one might predict that Jennings is the guy who knows more stuff while Holzhauer is the better player. Still, because Holzhauer was defeated by a librarian, it will be interesting to see what this tournament says about how Jeopardy really works. Are we rewarding knowledge or strategy? We’ll see! But because Jennings has dominated so far, it seems possible that this is be a sweep for him. He’s the guy with the proven track record, and unlike Holzhauer, he’s slightly more knowledgeable. (This isn’t to say Holzhauer doesn’t also know things, just that his strategy is decidedly more numbers-oriented than knowledge-based.)
Also, a quick reality check: These games are not happening live. Just like The Bachelor, or other reality TV shows, this stuff has already been recorded. So now, we just get to see how it already unfolded.
Fatherly will update this article as the new installments of the tournament air.
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