Last week, James Holzhauer set a new record for one-day winnings on the game show Jeopardy! He's now on a streak that may break Ken Jennings all-time money-winning record, and even faster than Jennings. How does he do it? Well, it helps that you know a lot of answers, but that's not all it takes to do well on a game show. Every game is different, and Jeopardy! requires a certain set of skills to do well, even if you're very smart.
...what sets apart the really, truly dominant players like James isn’t just luck, smarts, or betting strategy: It’s the buzzer, and James is very, very, very good at using it.
“He had a lot of questions about the subtlety of the buzzer right away,” says Jeopardy! producer Maggie Speak, who oversees contestant coordination and leads an hourlong group orientation for new players each taping day. “Before he ever hit the stage, it was: ‘Well, what if I do this?’ He had a lot of very specific questions about the timing of the buzzer.”