James Holzhauer took home an incredible $2,462,216 during his 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy. While the professional better was able to pad his bank account during the run, he inadvertently hurt himself financially. His credit has been compromised, with the winner unable to even secure a bad credit car finance in Indianapolis.
In an exclusive interview with The Lemon, Holzhauer admitted that his credit score has taken a vicarious hit from his risky streak on Jeopardy. Considering the contestant’s unwavering willingness to bet big amounts on both Double Jeopardy and Final Jeopardy, few lenders are willing to take the subsequent risk on his apparent risky personality.
“I was shopping around for cars in Indy, and I quickly realized that no dealership would provide financing,” Holzhauer said. “I even started specifically looking around for bad-credit car finance in Indianapolis, and they wouldn’t help me either.”
Why wouldn’t these sellers be willing to provide financing to someone who publicly won a whole lot of money?
“They associated my risky bets with my hypothetical risky behavior,” Holzhauer said. “I generally drive around the speed limit, I never drive in the fast lane, I’ve never been in an accident. It’s a preconceived notion that’s hindering my ability to buy a car.”
Considering Holzhauer just won more than two million dollars on Jeopardy, some are wondering why the 35-year-old doesn’t simply purchase the vehicle outright.
“I basically bet for a living,” Holzhauer explained. “I like to operate my life as if I don’t have all these winnings. After all, in the worst-case scenario, all of that money could be gone tomorrow.”
While these circumstances sound curious, it gets a bit weirder when you start talking with the applicable Indianapolis dealerships. Many of these sellers were willing to talk to The Lemon on the record, and they all indicated that they never progressed to financial discussions with Holzhauer.
“Yes, I remember that customer,” said Jimmy Rodney of Rodney’s Car Emporium. “During his entire visit, the customer tried to impress my staff with random knowledge about each vehicle. He even started quoting every part of Braveheart, which was playing in our waiting area. We couldn’t even get a word in, much less have conversations about financing.”
Another dealership owner echoed this sentiment.
“Holzhauer came in last Friday,” Mike Darr of Darr’s Cars told The Lemon. “Immediately, he just started reciting all of my staff members’ birthdays. This was particularly unsettling, as none of my employees had met Holzhauer before that moment.”
When approached with this information, Holzhauer admitted that he couldn’t remember every aspect of his conversations with the dealerships. However, he was adamant that none of the sellers would provide him with the necessary financing, and he said it’s almost tainted his entire Jeopardy run.
“I almost find myself regretting becoming a household name,” he told us. “Without that, I’d have been able to secure reasonable financing on a minivan. Now, I don’t think that will ever be the case again.”
Last we heard, Holzhauer has been taking public transportation to get to all of his destinations. The contestant is considering going on either Wheel of Fortune or Price is Right in pursuit of a new car, but he admitted that he isn’t as good at those games as he is at Jeopardy.
“I am Jeopardy, man,” he said. “And if others don’t recognize that, and if other dealerships won’t hook me up, then I guess I’ll just have to annoy the public on another game show.”