Ken Jennings is an American game show host, author, and former game show contestant. As of 2023, he is the highest-earning American game show contestant.
He has won money on five different game shows, including $4,522,700 on “Jeopardy!”. Ken Jennings is currently co-hosting “Jeopardy!” along with Mayim Bialik.
Ken Jennings Began His ‘Jeopardy!’ Career In 2004
Jennings was born in Edmonds, Washington, in 1974. He attended Brigham Young University and studied computer science. After graduating, he worked as a software engineer for a few years before rising to fame on “Jeopardy!”.
Ken Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on “Jeopardy!”. He won 74 games in a row in 2004. He also holds the record for the highest average correct responses per game in “Jeopardy!” history. He was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg in his 75th appearance.
Ken Jennings Has Appeared On Other Game Shows As Well
After his streak ended, Jennings continued to appear on Jeopardy! as a guest contestant. Ken Jennings’ total earnings on ! are $4,522,700, consisting of:
$2,520,700 over his 74 wins; a $2,000 second-place prize in his 75th appearance; a $500,000 second-place prize in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions (2005); a $300,000 second-place prize in Jeopardy!'s IBM Challenge (2011), when he lost to the Watson computer but became the first person to beat third-place finisher Brad Rutter; a $100,000 second-place prize in the Jeopardy! Battle of the Decades (2014); a $100,000 second-place prize (his share of his team's $300,000 prize) in Jeopardy! All-Star Games (2019); and a $1,000,000 first-place prize in Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time (2020).
He also appeared on several other game shows, including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
In addition to his game show career, Jennings is also an author that has written several books. His latest book, “100 Places To See After You Die,” was published in 2023.
Ken Jennings Is Now Co-Hosting ‘Jeopardy!’
In 2021, Ken Jennings was the first co-host following the death of late host Alex Trebek. In 2022, Sony executives announces that Ken Jennings would be co-hosting Jeopardy! with Mayim Bialik for the foreseeable future. He also hosted the “Jeopardy! Masters” tournament.
In 2023, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Game Show for his work on the show.