|NET WORTH:||$3.6 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Game show contestant, Author, Consultant|
|Born:||May 23, 1974|
|Birth Name:||Ken Jennings|
|Height:||5ft. 10in. (1.78m)|
Ken Jennings is the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time as he holds the record for having the longest winning streak on the American television game show Jeopardy!, having 74 consecutive wins. On his 75th appearance, he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg, which broke his consecutive wins.
Jennings was born in Seattle Washington, on May 23, 1974. With his father, who is a lawyer employed internationally, he spent 15 years growing up in South Korea and Singapore where his father mostly worked. Jennings attended the University of Washington after returning to United States. After two years of being a volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was assigned to serve in Madrid, Spain, he transferred in 1996 to Brigham Young University, served as a captain on the school's quiz bowl team and graduated in the year 2000.
Winning streak on Jeopardy!
Jennings was a member of BYU's quiz bowl team before his appearance on Jeopardy!. His first appearance was on Jeopardy!'s 20th season, which he unseated the two-time returning champion Jerry Harvey, and advanced into season 21. He went the entire five months without a loss, because of the off-season break, 2004 Kids' Week, the Tournament of Champions where he did not participate for invitations are only for those champions who have been defeated, and Jennings had not yet been defeated.
Jennings' reign as Jeopardy! champion ended on November 30, 2004, when he was defeated on his 75th game to contender Nancy Zerg. He responded incorrectly to both Double Jeopardy! Daily Doubles. The final Jeopardy! category was about Business & Industry, with the clue "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year". Zerg finished her response first and responded "What is H&R Block?" which is correct. Jennings incorrectly responded "What is FedEx?" and lost the game. The audience gasped after knowing that Jennings response was revealed to be incorrect, and also caused Zerg to be shocked after knowing that she won. Trebek called Zerg as the "giant killer", and the audience gave a standing ovation, honoring both of the contestants. Jennings appeared in The Guinness Book of World Records under "Most cash won on a game show".
The day after Jennings defeat, Jeopardy! made a tradition on making Jennings as a guest appearance at the start of the broadcast, where host Alex Trebek acknowledges his success. According to the Nielsen TV National People Meter, the ratings of the game show has been 22% higher during Jennings' run compared to the previous year and Jeopardy! was ranked as the TV's highest-rated syndicated program after its weeks of the winning's streak.
Jennings has made multiple appearances on other shows like "Live with Regis and Kelly", he also appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman". He was selected as one of the "Ten Most Fascinating People of 2004" by Barbara Walters. Jennings has appeared on several episodes of "Doug Loves Movies" which he also won many times. It was announce in April 2019 that Jennings will be one of the eight recurring "Trivia Experts" for Best Ever Trivia Show, a new game show hosted by Sherri Shepherd.
On November 18, 2019, ABC announced publicly that Jennings would return to Jeopardy!, together with Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer in a tournament, in order to determine who among them is the "Greatest of All Time" and was scheduled to air on January 7, 2020. Jennings claimed the title "Greatest of All Time" for winning the championship with a first place prize of $1,000,000.
Jennings tweets has been the topic of controversies. He received criticism after tweeting "Nothing sadder than a hot person in a wheelchair", and experienced the same situation, after he tweeted a joke regarding the death of Daniel Fleetwood which is a lifelong Star Wars fan who died of cancer. He also garnered controversy again after he tweeted a joke about Barron Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump's youngest child, saying "Barron Trump saw a very long necktie on a heap of expired deli meat on a dumpster. He thought it was his dad & his little heart is breaking" after the 11-year-old Barron Trump saw an image Kathy Griffin holding a bloody Trump mask believing it was real, and screamed.
Jennings and his wife Mindy lives in the Seattle metropolitan area, with their son, Dylan, and their daughter, Caitlin.
Jennings was active in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), a quiz bowl organization, where he writes questions for, and read questions for as a moderator. He was a software engineer for CHG Healthcare Services before his Jeopardy! winning streak.
For winning 74 straight games on Jeopardy!, signed several endorsement deals, appeared and won on multiple game shows, an author of his own book, Ken Jennings has an estimated net worth of $3.6 million as today, 2020.