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    There's no truth to the rumor that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect 'Jeopardy!' contestant. But given how he's made a level of excellence rarely seen on the television quiz show appear almost mundane, it sometimes seems that way. Holzhauer eclipsed the $1 million mark in winnings Tuesday on his 14th appearance. Not only has he won $131,127 to shatter the program's previous one-day record of $77,000, he already has the top five one-day scores in the history of a game that has aired regularly since 1984. The professional gambler from Las Vegas is quick on his feet and quick with the buzzer, displays an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and — true to his profession — is cold-blooded in his willingness to risk big sums of money. The show's most hallowed records, set in 2004 when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row and earned more than $2.5 million, seem like a plausible goal. 'James is just a perfect 'Jeopardy!' machine,' Jennings told The Associated Press this week. Like most of the game's best players, he did his share of studying in advance, finding that books geared to young people were a good way to learn about unfamiliar topics. He built a replica of the show's buzzer and practiced while playing along on TV, standing in his living room like he has to do now in front of a podium. Holzhauer says he rarely guesses — he doesn't like those odds — but seems never to have forgotten a fact. 'My goal was just to be less nervous than the other players,' he said. 'Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I snapped my fingers three times and pictured a fun snow festival with my daughter.' He did have one audacious goal: to honor his daughter by winning $110,914 in a single episode, since her birthday was Nov. 9, 2014. He accomplished that on his fourth show. His strategy is to begin games with the highest-value clues, hoping to quickly build winnings and land on the one 'Daily Double' in the first round. When he does, he usually bets everything, punctuating it with a motion that makes it seem like he's pushing in all his chips. If he's wrong, there's enough time to earn more money. But he's rarely wrong. The two 'Daily Doubles' in the game's second round are also coveted. He doesn't bet everything then, but he puts a lot on the line. Holzhauer said show host Alex Trebek once told him that he doesn't gamble because he could win $1,000 and not care, but that losing $20 annoys him. 'I'm not surprised that most contestants don't gamble the way I do,' he said. 'Loss aversion is a very real factor.' The Final Jeopardy round gives him one more chance to place a big bet. On the show that aired April 17, Holzhauer bet $60,000 on the category of 20th Century literary figures. The clue was: His first name refers to the ancient district in which you'd find the Greek capital; his surname is a bird. He correctly answered: Who is Atticus Finch? 'Most 'Jeopardy!' players never think about maximizing winnings,' Jennings said. 'I never did. I just wanted to survive the game and get to play again. But he's a sports bettor. Maximizing winnings is everything to him. I wouldn't have the stomach to bet $60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue. What if you get that wrong, and you have to come back in five minutes and play another game knowing that you just blew a year's salary on a single trivia question? Psychologically, I doubt that I could have rattled off a long streak doing that. But James just seems to be made for those dangerous plays. He's a cool customer.' Jennings can envision future players trying to imitate Holzhauer's strategy of building up big winnings fast. But in a lesser player, that could be disastrous. 'I'm not sure I can really bet any more boldly than I have already,' Holzhauer said. 'I can keep my foot on the accelerator, though.' For a show with a long history, his single-day achievements beg for some perspective. Consider it this way: It's like a young Major League baseball player hitting 95 home runs in a season (the record is 73 by Barry Bonds), then following it up with a couple of seasons in the 80s. Holzhauer often watches with friends as his streak plays out on weekday evenings (shows are taped well in advance). 'People seem to think it is really cool to watch someone on TV while you're sitting next to them,' he said. He hopes his celebrity stays low-key. He gets recognized in public now but said most people are respectful, save one fan 'who got a little too handsy with my bicep' at a hockey game. With his style of play, Holzhauer considers Jennings' earnings record a more achievable goal than the 74-game winning streak. Given the show's schedule, which includes tournaments and reruns, fans wouldn't know until September if he approaches the standard of consecutive shows. Since the show's ratings are already spiking, producers won't mind if he sticks around. 'I've been waiting 15 years for someone to make a run at me, and it's finally happening,' Jennings said. 'The closer he gets to the cash and game records, the closer I will be watching. I'm rooting for the guy.
  • Jennifer Garner graces the front of this year's 'Beautiful Issue' of People magazine with a cover story that cheers the way she balances Hollywood, business and motherhood. The magazine revealed the cover Tuesday of the annual issue that hits newsstands Friday. On the cover, the Texas-born, West Virginia-raised Garner, 47, is shown sitting on the hood of a car with grassy hills in the background along with the quote, 'I'm grateful every day.' The 'Alias' actress is co-founder of a baby food company, acts as an artist-ambassador for Save The Children, and is mother to three kids with ex-husband Ben Affleck: 13-year-old Violet, 10-year-old Seraphina and 7-year-old Samuel. 'I'm starting to get to the point where I realize this job is not going to be forever,' Garner told people. 'Not in the all-encompassing every meal, every moment, every day way that I have loved for the last thirteen years. It's going to shift. But there's beauty in how it works in episodes.' Garner said that when she arrives home from a fancy photo shoot, her kids object to her glam get-up and want their mother back. 'They'll look at me and say, 'Can you wash your face? Can you put your hair in a ponytail and put your glasses and sweats on?'' Garner said. 'And I see the compliment in that. They just want me to look like Mom.' Last year the magazine rebranded its 'Most Beautiful' issue as 'The Beautiful Issue,' to make clear, its editors said, that it's not a contest. Singer Pink and her children were on the 2018 cover.
  • Last week, Beyonce surprised fans when she dropped her “Homecoming” album in conjunction with her Netflix documentary. Now, one of the tunes has sparked a dance challenge. >> Read more trending news   One of the bonus tracks on the project is a remake of Frankie Beverly & Maze’s 1981 classic “Before I Let Go.” While most of the lyrics are the same as the original, the last few minutes of the song call out some specific dance moves.  Queen Bey hasn’t revealed what the official steps look like, but folks have taken a stab at it with the #BeforeILetGoChallenge. On Monday night, the songstress posted a few clips of people dancing to the song on her Instagram Story, and some shared their excitement on social media -- especially since she rarely uses the feature.  Related: Related: Watch trailer for Beyonce’s 'Homecoming' film chronicling historic 2018 Coachella set The dancers who were highlighted were thrilled to be recognized by Beyonce. The singer continues to spotlight fans taking part in the challenge -- including HBCU Middle Tennessee State University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council -- into Tuesday.
  • The 'lord,' as in Scott Disick, is spinning off and flipping out of the Kardashian family bubble with his own E! show. The father of Kourtney Kardashian's three children and a frequent face on 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' has been greenlighted to star in 'Flip It like Disick,' which will follow him on his adventures remodeling and selling celebrity real estate. Disick began development property nearly five years ago. On the show, viewers will learn more about his eye for design and his team, including Willa Ford, the former pop singer turned interior designer; Disick's best friend and business partner, Benny Luciano; and their contractor, Miki Moor. The eight-episode, one-hour series will air this summer. Disick jokingly bought his lordship online several years ago, complete with a knighting ceremony.
  • Pete Buttigieg is suddenly the hottest ticket for Democratic donors in the 2020 presidential contest. Entertainment moguls are fighting over who will host Hollywood fundraisers for the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Democratic donors are showering him with praise. And he has been repeatedly selling out fundraisers across the U.S. Whether the gay former military officer and Rhodes scholar will be able to capitalize on his improbable star turn and build out a campaign with staying power remains to be seen. What is indisputable, however, is that donors are clamoring for more. That could help thaw a Democratic money game that's been largely frozen during the early months of the primary, with many major financiers waiting for the crowded field to thin. 'He absolutely must be part of the conversation. I want to see him in the top tier,' said Susie Tompkins Buell, a top Hillary Clinton donor who recently held an event for Buttigieg at a San Francisco yacht club despite previously announcing her support for Sen. Kamala Harris of California. 'I'm very much supporting Kamala. I also am extremely impressed with Mayor Pete.' In the massive Democratic fundraising world of Hollywood, plans for an upcoming visit started a tug-of-war between major entertainment industry figures, including movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, over who would get to host an upcoming Buttigieg fundraiser. The dispute was described by two people with direct knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue. Buttigieg also counts among his supporters Laurie David, the producer of the Oscar-winning documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' who was formerly married to 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' star Larry David. Other prominent donors include 'West Wing' star Bradley Whitford, 'Deadpool' actor Ryan Reynolds and 'This Is Us' actress Mandy Moore, whose Twitter feed is dominated by posts about Buttigieg. 'Los Angeles is excited to see and hear from Mayor Pete,' said Marie Lloyd, a political consultant who works for some Hollywood megadonors, including Katzenberg. 'I imagine he will have a pretty warm reception here. But it's up to him if that excitement remains.' On Tuesday, Buttigieg is being feted at a sold-out fundraiser held by Andrew Schapiro, a Chicago attorney who previously held an event for Beto O'Rourke during the former Texas congressman's run for Senate. Another Chicago fundraiser is being planned for May 16 that will be hosted by some of former President Barack Obama's top bundlers, including De Gray and John Atkinson, according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press. 'From a fundraising standpoint, it reminds me of early Obama: People are coming to us and asking, 'Can I participate? Can I come?'' said Schapiro, who was also Obama's ambassador to the Czech Republic. 'Most of the time when you're doing a fundraiser, it's the other way around, and you have to work to get people to show up.' Many 2020 contenders so far have been reticent to discuss their fundraising from big-dollar donors amid a fierce and ongoing intraparty debate over the role that big money plays in politics. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has gone so far as to rule out attending major fundraisers and has instead said she will rely on grassroots donors. Buttigieg has taken a different tack. His campaign has released a list of major bundlers, a term used to describe donors who raise large sums of money for candidates by hosting events and urging their friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues to give. It's a who's who of Democratic donors, including members of the Pohlad family, who own the Minnesota Twins, filmmaker Jill Goldman and top Obama donors like hedge fund manager Orin Kramer. Also among his bundlers is Steven Elmendorf, a lobbyist whose recent clients include BP America, Facebook and the airlines industry, according to federal disclosures. But Buttigieg has shown an ability to raise from the party's grassroots base, too, pulling in about 64% of his first quarter fundraising haul from donors who gave less than $200, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records. He's also started to draw checks from donors who have given to other candidates, another sign of the level of interest in Buttigieg. Among 2020 candidates, Buttigieg has received the second highest number of checks from donors who have given to multiple candidates, FEC data shows. Only Harris, who has been on the national political scene longer, has drawn more donors who have cut checks to multiple candidates, records show. Buttigieg's events aren't limited to people able to shell out thousands of dollars. His campaign has been holding 'grassroots fundraisers,' with tickets that start at $25, in cities including New York and Washington, D.C. New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced Buttigieg at his first grassroots fundraiser in Chelsea last month. Johnson said Buttigieg's staff and volunteers seemed as surprised as he was at the turnout for the event, which was scheduled at 5 p.m. on a Friday. Johnson expected 60 or 70 people. When he and Buttigieg walked upstairs to the event, they found the former dance club packed with around 250. 'We had to wade our way through this enormous crowd,' Johnson said. Later that night, Johnson posted a photo on Twitter and Instagram of himself and Buttigieg at the event and was instantly 'bombarded' by people upset that they didn't know about the event and asking how they could attend the next one. 'There's a real hunger to see him in New York,' Johnson said. Buttigieg sold out another grassroots fundraiser at Brooklyn Bowl last week. Similar events are planned next month in San Francisco and at The Abbey, a large and well-known gay nightclub in West Hollywood. Buttigieg has also drawn a lot of attention from LGBT donors. 'He's certainly spoken in a very, very strong way to the Democratic progressive donor base,' said Rufus Gifford, Obama's former finance director, who is gay. 'The fact that the hottest candidate on the Democratic side is an openly gay married man? It's an amazing thing for me and my community.' ___ Burnett reported from Chicago. Associated Press writer Meghan Hoyer in Washington contributed to this report.
  • Given all the attention it has received over the past two years, the actual release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report wasn't exactly appointment television viewing. The ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast networks and the cable's CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC collectively averaged 12.7 million viewers last Thursday when the redacted report on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election was put out, the Nielsen company said. Nielsen measured the three cable networks between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT, and the two separate special reports aired on each of the broadcast networks within that period. To put that in some perspective, the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly newscasts collectively reached 20.2 million viewers that night — and that was less than the shows averaged for the full week. When Attorney General William Barr gave his verbal summary of the Mueller report starting at 9:30, viewership on ABC and CBS was lower than typical daytime programming in that hour, Nielsen said. For the coverage overall until 1 p.m., Fox News Channel led the way with an average of 2.78 million viewers. CBS, whose second special report was shorter than its rivals, averaged 2.52 million. NBC had 2.19 million, ABC had 2.06 million, MSNBC had 2.01 million and CNN had 1.17 million, Nielsen said. CBS easily won the week in prime-time, averaging 6 million viewers. ABC had 4.4 million viewers, NBC had 3.6 million, Fox had 2.5 million, ION Television has 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.25 million, Univision had 1.17 million and the CW had 840,000. Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.41 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 2.2 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million, HGTV had 1.17 million and USA had 1.12 million. ABC's 'World News Tonight' topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.1 million viewers. NBC's 'Nightly News' had 7.7 million and the 'CBS Evening News' had 5.7 million. For the week of April 15-21, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: 'NCIS,' CBS, 11.89 million; 'The Big Bang Theory,' CBS, 11.45 million; 'Game of Thrones,' HBO, 10.29 million; 'FBI,' CBS, 8.77 million; '60 Minutes,' CBS, 8.47 million; 'Survivor,' CBS, 7.9 million; 'The Voice' (Monday), NBC, 7.66 million; 'The Voice' (Tuesday), NBC, 7.18 million; 'American Idol' (Sunday), ABC, 7.114 million; 'America Idol' (Monday), ABC, 7.106 million. ___ ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by Fox Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. ___ Online: http://www.nielsen.com
  • Sarah Jessica Parker and a British jeweler have settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the actress. A joint statement released Tuesday says the parties have 'resolved their differences' and are excited to 'resume their partnership.' Kat Florence Design sued Parker, arguing that she had agreed to promote a collaborative jewelry line of diamonds and other gems for a fee of $7.5 million but failed to live up to the obligation. Parker filed a lawsuit of her own, saying payments from the designer were 'abruptly and without notice or explanation stopped' in October 2016. She said she was paid about $1.3 million. Details of the settlement in New York were not disclosed.
  • Sean 'Diddy' Combs has opened up about life after the sudden death of his soul mate, former girlfriend Kim Porter. The music mogul posed with his six children on the cover of Essence magazine's 49th anniversary May issue. In excerpts posted online, Combs offered his gratitude for the outpouring of love after Porter's passing on Nov. 15, 2018 from complications from pneumonia. Porter is the mother of three of his children, 21-year-old Christian and 12-year-old twin girls Jesse and D'Lila. Combs told the magazine he has learned to be a more attentive father in the aftermath of his grief. 'Before this, I was a part-time father, you know? My family was always first, but there are countless times when I chose work over everything else,' he said. 'But every day I can hear her telling me to go and spend some time with the kids and make sure everybody's all right, like she would do. I'm just a lot more present, and, most important, now my kids come before anything else in my life.' Three days before she died, according to Combs, she was sick with the flu and 'sent the kids over to my house so they wouldn't get sick.' He recalled one night, when he went to check on her, 'she was like, 'Puffy, take care of my babies.' She actually said that to me before she died. He said he went into 'mommy mode' after Porter's death, trying desperately to make sure the kids wouldn't hear about it online or on the news. 'Every time Kim and I talked, it was about the kids,' Combs said. 'It was what she cared about the most. The magazine hits newsstands on Friday.
  • Ukrainian police have recovered a painting by French Impressionist Paul Signac stolen from a French museum. Police chief Serhiy Knyazev said the 1915 painting depicting the port of La Rochelle was found in the possession of a man who was arrested in Kiev on suspicion of involvement in a killing. The painting, estimated to be worth 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million), was stolen from The Museum of Fine Arts in the city of Nancy last May. Knyazev said Tuesday that several Ukrainians suspected of involvement in the theft were arrested. Police believe that the same suspects could have been involved in the theft of a painting by Auguste Renoir in Vienna last year. The French ambassador to Kiev, Isabelle Dumont, thanked the Ukrainian police for recovering the painting.
  • Professional mountain climbers were hired to install synthetic, waterproof tarps over the gutted, exposed exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral, as authorities raced to prevent further damage ahead of storms that are rolling in toward Paris. The looming bad weather threatens to further damage the 850-year-old cathedral whose roof was destroyed by the April 15 blaze, leaving the church to the mercy of the elements. Architect-in-chief Philippe Villeneuve said he had to rush the installation of the protective covers that started Tuesday. 'The climbers, since it will be climbers who will do that, and the scaffolders, are ready,' Villeneuve told BFMTV on Tuesday. 'The beams are there, the tarpaulin on its way .... The highest priority is to protect the cathedral from the rain to come.' Some of Notre Dame's remaining statues were removed by crane before the tarpaulins were hoisted up. Workers in the afternoon began dragging them over to cover vulnerable parts of the structure. Parts of the cathedral, including its partially-destroyed vaulted ceiling, had already been soaked with water after firefighters desperately fought the blaze for over 12 hours that day. Notre Dame's vaulted ceiling was also badly damaged after the cathedral's 19th-century spire burnt up and collapsed. Notre Dame isn't expected to reopen to the public for five or six years, according to its rector, although French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a quick reconstruction. So far, investigators think the devastating fire was an accident, possibly linked to the cathedral's renovation work.