James Holzhauer became the second-largest winner in Jeopardy history when he reeled off 32 straight wins and accumulated a total of $2,464,216 in winnings. But the real winner here is the Internal Revenue Service.
Holzhauer’s run ended on Monday, when he lost to current champion Emma Boettcher. According to The Action Network, contestants usually have to wait four months from their final episode before being paid, but James was paid this week because the show wanted to get a photo of him holding the check.
And speaking of that check, Holzhauer stands to lose nearly half of his winnings in taxes. Via TAN:
Even though Holzhauer is a resident of Nevada, the game show took place in California, which means he is on the hook for taxes in the state, which has the highest rate in the nation at 13.3%. Holzhauer shared with The Action Network that the actual check he received had those taxes withheld.
Robert Raiola, director of the sports and entertainment practice at PFK O’Connor Davies, said that federal and California taxes will trim Holzhauer’s net winnings to $1.29 million, a 47.6% haircut.
Damn! So I guess Jeopardy’s ACTUAL all-time leader in total earnings is the I.R.S.