Ken Jennings

Game Show Contestant

Born: 23 May 1974
Birthplace: Edmonds, Washington
Best known as: The man who won 74 times on Jeopardy!

Ken Jennings won 74 straight games on the TV game show Jeopardy! in 2004. The unprecedented run earned him $2,522,700, at the time the greatest amount ever won by any contestant on an American game show, and made him the most celebrated game show contestant since Charles Van Doren. Ken Jennings was a software engineer in Salt Lake City when his first Jeopardy! appearance aired on 2 June 2004; by the time of his final appearance on 30 November 2004, he had become a national pop culture hero. He appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and Sesame Street, was featured on television commercials for Federal Express and Cingular Wireless, and helped create Can You Beat Ken?, his own board game. He also won $500,000 on another game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, in 2008. Ken Jennings and another famous Jeopardy! champion, Brad Rutter, were defeated by the IBM computer Watson in a much-publicized match in 2011. Brainiac, his book about his experiences as a trivia celebrity, was published in September of 2006.

Extra credit:

Ken Jennings graduated from Brigham Young University in 2000, majoring in computer science and English... According to his official site, he married the former Mindy Boam in 2000... He is sometimes called "KenJen" by fans... Ken Jennings lost to Nancy Zerg in his 75th show on this Final Jeopardy clue: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." Jennings answered "What is FedEx?", but Zerg had the correct answer of "What is H&R Block?"... His record winnings on Jeopardy! were later surpassed by Brad Rutter, who won $2 million by defeating Jennings on the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2004. However, Jennings reclaimed the overall crown with his 2008 win on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

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More on Ken Jennings from Fact Monster:

  • Ken Jennings - Biography of Ken Jennings, The man who won 74 times on Jeopardy!
  • This Day in History: November 30 - November 30 1804 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was tried for political bias. 1900 Irish author ...
  • Alex Trebek - Biography of Alex Trebek, Host of the TV quiz show Jeopardy!
  • Charles Van Doren - Biography of Charles Van Doren, Ill-fated star of the 1950s game show Twenty-One
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