Is Jeopardy phenom James Holzhauer bad for the game? 2 former Canadian champs buzz in

The clue: this Jeopardy wiz won over $1 million on the long-running game show — but his style of play created some consternation among the show's legions of fans.

If your response is "Who is James Holzhauer?" you are correct.

Holzhauer has won big with more than a dozen victories but many fans don't like his approach to the game — selecting clues from the bottom up in the hopes of finding Daily Doubles and making aggressive wagers when he finds them.

Two Canadian former Jeopardy champs, Matthew Church and Ali Hasan, say Holzhauer's play, while unorthodox, is certainly working.

Carol Kaelson/Jeopardy Productions/Associated Press

"The first thing that a fellow teacher told me today was, what's wrong with you? How come you didn't win a million dollars?" Hasan, from New Westminster, told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

"It's very humbling to think that ... you won three games and you won $67,000 and then somebody comes in and averages more than that per game."

But Church, a medical resident in Calgary, said many of his patients — and his parents — tell him that they aren't impressed with Holzhauer's unorthodox system.

"People are riled up about, you know, that 'pick and choose' to search and find the Daily Doubles," Church said.

"People just don't like it. There's so much protectiveness of Jeopardy that I never would have imagined."


Hasan thinks Holtzhauer has found a system that works for him and he should stick with it as long as it keeps him in the game.

Church, on the other hand, countered that the high-risk approach to Daily Doubles is not new and will eventually backfire.

"I think it will ultimately be his undoing."

So how do you stop a Jeopardy juggernaut like Holzhauer if you are one of his opponents that night?

Church thinks a challenger would need to emulate his strategy and bet big on Daily Doubles to keep pace.

Hasan has a simpler idea.

"Remember Tonya Harding?" he joked. "I'm glad I don't have to face him."

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