5 Things to Watch In This Week’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions

It's James Holzhauer's game to lose

Top players from the 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions, starting tonight
Top players from the 'Jeopardy!' Tournament of Champions, starting tonight
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Starting today, the two-week Tournament of Champions returns to Jeopardy!, with fifteen top performers from the past two seasons competing for the chance to win $250,000.

Besides two winners from the teachers tournament and one from college, the most notable returnee is 32-time champ and professional gambler James Holzhauer, who racked up $2.46 million during his run this spring.

Also returning: Holzhauer’s nemesis Emma Boettcher, the University of Chicago librarian who wrote her thesis on on “Predicting the Difficulty of Trivia Questions Using Text Features” and whose victory over Holzhauer had The Ringer dub their match the “arguably best-played game of Jeopardy! ever.” Not only did Holzhauer fall just short of Ken Jennings’s cash winnings total record by a few thousand dollars, their particular match featured the single best sum performance in the history of the show.) And maybe James lost on purpose…?

Expect some repeat drama, from both that dynamic duo and the 15 contestants overall, even if they falter in the beginning; the top four non-game winners with the highest money totals will still advance to the semifinals as wild cards.

Other notable returnees as noted by The Ringer: Ryan Fenster, technically making his third appearance (after a disputed answer disrupted his first run); Josh Hill, best known for showing claws during his introduction; and 60-year old Alan Dunn, the oldest contestant.

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