The Kids Books That Helped “Jeopardy” Champ James Holzhauer Win

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Jeopardy James Holzhauer is giving the decades’ old game show a kick. As of May 3 the professional sports gambler from Las Vegas (of course) has won 22 games in a row, totaling over $1.691 million. So how does he do it? Holzhauer’s little helper might surprise you.

Only second to information icon Ken Jennings, Holzhauer is well on his way to take taking top honors. But unlike some of the more scholarly contestants, the 34-year-old husband and father doesn’t have a PhD-level pedigree. Recently, the quiz show phenom revealed his key to success—children’s books!

During an interview with The Washington Post, Holzhauer admitted, “You may be able to read an adult book about a boring subject without falling asleep, but I can’t. For me, it was either read some children’s books — designed to engage the reader — or go into “Jeopardy!” with giant gaps in my knowledge base.”

If you’re looking to step into Holzhauer’s shoes, the Jeopardy giant recommends, “The Classics Illustrated series was an excellent primer in literature, and I also really enjoyed Zachary Hamby’s mythology books for teens.” But if you just want to check out some of Holzhauer’s faves, the sports gambler/Jeopardy mega-winner told Publishers Weekly that the top picks from his own childhood include Green Eggs and HamThe Little Engine That Could and Peter Rabbit!

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Jeopardy via Instagram



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