James Holzhauer is parlaying his rise to fame and sports gambling knowledge to bring new content to sports media outlet The Athletic. He may be known best as the man who won 32 straight competitions on Jeopardy! in 2019, but Holzhauer was a dedicated sports gambler before making it to the show. According to an announcement he wrote and published on The Athletic’s website yesterday, the stat man is going to be a sports gambling consultant and journalist for the site.
Holzhauer Wins the Lottery
Holzhauer won $2.4 million on Jeopardy! two years ago when he went undefeated across 32 episodes of the popular trivia game show in 2019. That led to his selection as the host of a trivia contest put together by partypoker as part of the platform’s Caribbean Poker Party later that year. However, he was already highly successful in sports gambling prior to his rise to stardom. Holzhauer explains in his announcement that, at just 21 years old, he was using Excel to run stats on sporting events to analyze how to bet, adding that he had a 10% ROI (return on investment) on straight bets and 50% on futures. Overall, his bankroll saw an average of 100% growth every year for several years.
He will now use his sports gambling talent to help other gamblers. He explains, “Beating the vig is hard enough, but trying to do it with poor fundamentals is like bringing a plastic knife to a gunfight. I hope that by passing along what I’ve learned from my sixteen years in the business I can give aspiring sharps a chance to turn their opinions into some consistent wins.”
Gamblers shouldn’t expect to jump to his column to find picks, however. Holzhauer indicates that he won’t be making picks, preferring to focus, instead, on giving advice to others that should give them an edge with their wagers. His first column is expected to appear on The Athletic tomorrow.
The Athletic Tackles Sports Gambling
As has been seen with virtually all major sports media outlets, sports gambling is becoming an intrinsic part of the business model. Since the US Supreme Court ejected PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) from the game in 2018, states across the US have continued to embrace sports gambling, and media outlets are getting in on the action, as well. The Athletic made a bold entrance earlier this year when it announced that BetMGM would be its exclusive sports gambling partner, and other sports-related media services are signing similar deals.
There’s no downside to introducing sports gambling content to media sites. It’s guaranteed to attract more eyes, which drives revenue. It is also a great way to create value for the entities, as witnessed by the recent announcement that Action Network was being purchased by Better Collective for $240 million only three years after launching. The New York Times has reportedly expressed interest in buying The Athletic, but would likely command a higher price, especially after securing Holzhauer. The sports media platform raised $50 million last year through a Series D funding round, which increased its valuation to around $500 million. Vox Media has also been rumored to have its eyes on The Athletic, and increased interest leads to increased bidding wars.