With James Holzhauer catching the public's attention by breezing his way towards beating Ken Jennings' legendary Jeopardy! winnings totals, the game show has been getting a lot more attention than usual.
Holzhauer has now won over $1 million, and is well on his way to making $1 million more.
Jennings recently joked on Twitter that he should get more credit for helping preserve the show's budget by making small wagers.
I don’t feel I get enough credit for making small, sensible Jeopardy wagers, which helped the show with its prize budget.— Ken Jennings (@Ken Jennings) 1555986545.0
The amount that immediately popped into mind for some was $69 (Jennings never actually wagered that amount, but this is the internet, after all).
As it turns out, contestants aren't allowed to wager that particular number of dollars anymore.
@BuckyIsotope this is officially forbidden on Jeopardy now, as of last year. not even joking.— Ken Jennings (@Ken Jennings) 1555992900.0
Holzhauer confirmed that $69 is indeed a banned wager, but it isn't the only one.
Actually, there are five banned wagers. This is probably the most innocuous one. https://t.co/5Yt0Y9JbKX— James Holzhauer (@James Holzhauer) 1556173582.0
Another banned wager is $666, commonly known as the "number of the beast," and the favorite number of many heavy metal fans.
The other banned amounts have more sinister connotations (yes, more sinister than the devil). $14, $88, and $1,488 may not be obviously problematic to some, but the numbers refer to White supremacist ideas.
For anyone who isn't familiar with the significance of these numbers, the "fourteen words" is a common White supremacist slogan. The number 14 has come to be a common dog whistle for these groups online.
The eighth letter of the alphabet is H, and 88 (HH) is a common code for a favorite Nazi phrase among the same groups. $1.488 combines the two.
@sgraps @comedysavage @KenJennings @BuckyIsotope Well, I just had to google 1488 to find out why it'd be forbidden.… https://t.co/ionU4eE5dZ— Greg Lam (@Greg Lam) 1556022595.0
Banning anything that could lead to potential white supremacist memes seems like a good idea to us.
Some Twitter users found the idea of how the decision to ban certain numbers was reached quite entertaining.
@KenJennings @BuckyIsotope I just picture a meeting with a bunch of old guys at a table just discussing why wagerin… https://t.co/zAflbZPqZe— Brandon Harris (@Brandon Harris) 1555996671.0
Some were already trying to find a loophole.
@KenJennings @BuckyIsotope Is it that the number can't end in 69 or just that specific number?— John Aquaman (@John Aquaman) 1556064987.0
@KenJennings @BuckyIsotope I’d settle for a $42069 wager— Aaron Povolish has beaten 121 NES games (@Aaron Povolish has beaten 121 NES games) 1555993404.0
@RichardoDad @BuckyIsotope @KenJennings My dream has always been to get on, have a great game, and make sure my fin… https://t.co/06WC5syxbi— your beautiful baby boy (@your beautiful baby boy) 1556062720.0
Holzhauer doesn't seem to be slowing down in his quest to beat Jennings' total winnings. People are quite excited to see just how far he can go.
Who knows, maybe he'll make some Twitter users very happy by betting $42,069—he does like to make large wagers.
If you'd like to try your luck, Brain Games offers Jeopardy!: Puzzles and Games to Help You Become a Quiz Show Master available here.