Family a Winning Answer for ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ

By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS, Rafu Arts & Entertainment

Aside from the astounding win­nings he amassed on the TV game show, James Holzhauer’s run on “Jeopardy!” has revealed his intimate dedication to family and a sense of duty as a citizen.

During his 32-day winning streak on the show – a run that netted him more than $2.4 million – Holzhauer often dedicated his final winning an­swers to a family member or friend. One such dedication was particularly near and dear to him.

On April 17, he set a new record for a single day’s winnings on the show, a whopping $131,127. Along with his correct answer – “Who is At­ticus Finch?” – he added a little note: “This is for you, Granny,” accented with a heart.

It was a fitting tribute, as Holzhau­er quite possibly would never have appeared on “Jeopardy!” if not for the love and enthusiasm Grandmother showed for the program, despite not understanding much of it.

“Granny’s name was Kazuko Ide,” Holzhauer told The Rafu last month. “She was born in Niigata and later moved to Osaka, where my mother was born. She moved to America just before I was born to help raise me and my brother.”

Holzhauer explained that his parents, Nachiko and Juergen, were frugal people who sought value in everything they did, and that it was Grandma Kazuko who played the primary maternal role in his child­hood.

“I think she was just so eager to spend time with me that she would sit through ‘Jeopardy!’ even though she couldn’t follow the game,” he said.