In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. Even for Jeopardy legend James Holzhauer. who made $2,462,216 in those 33 appearances, including the $2,000 prize he received for finishing second in his last show on Monday.
Only one “Jeopardy” champion, Ken Jennings, has made more money ($2,520,700) and had more appearances (74).
The IRS also won big. All winnings on game shows are considered ordinary income, taxed up to 37% by the IRS. And most states have state income tax, too.
Via The Action Network:
Jeopardy contestants normally have to wait four months after their last episode to get a lump sum payment, but Holzhauer said Jeopardy cut him that check this week so that they could take pictures of him with it.
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.
Holzhauer does hold the all-time record for the most money earned in a single Jeopardy episode, $131,127, and also the top 16 best single game scores.
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