KEN JENNINGS BREAKS ALL-TIME GAME SHOW WORLD RECORD ON "JEOPARDY!," AMERICA'S FAVORITE QUIZ SHOW
"I'll TAKE TELEVISION HISTORY FOR $2.19 MILLION, PLEASE ALEX"
CULVER CITY, CA, November 4, 2004 - Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings has officially established himself in the archives of television history as the All-Time Top TV Game Show Winner in the world. Last night, Jennings won an impressive $45,099, bringing his grand total to date to a whopping $2,197,000, and launching him past the previous record of $2,180,000 set by Kevin Olmstead from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2001.
Befitting a true champion, Ken Jennings' Final Jeopardy! Category was"Royalty."
ANSWER: This King was the Great-Grandfather of France's King Louis
CORRECT QUESTION: Who is Louis XIV?
A quiz show sensation, the amiable 30-year-old software engineer had an
interesting take on the record. Said Jennings; "I wouldn't be coming back just
for the money. I think the reason I'm still on Jeopardy! is because I'm having a good time. It's fun to compete and see exactly how good you are and what your limits are."
Since Jennings' dynamic winning streak began on June 2nd, he has managed to break a string of game show records with amazing, rapid-fire dexterity and
skill. During his remarkable run, Jennings has defeated 130 contestants and answered over 2,000 correct responses. A look back at the highlights and the milestones Ken Jennings has achieved:
JUNE 2: Makes his first appearance on Jeopardy!, winning
JUNE 10: Wins $231,000 in his seventh consecutive appearance, a new Jeopardy! record in non-tournament play.
JULY 13: Breaks the One Million Dollar mark in cash winnings.
JULY 23: Sets new one-day Jeopardy! record of $75,000.
SEPTEMBER 15: Breaks record for the longest winning streak on any
television game show in television game show history.
OCTOBER 25: Crosses the Two Million Dollar mark in cash winnings.
NOVEMBER 3: Makes history as the All-Time Top Game Show Cash
Winner, amassing a grand total to date of $2,197,000.
PERSPECTIVE: So what makes $2,197,000 significant?
It was the price tag of John Lennon's Steinway Piano on which the former Beatle composed "Imagine."
$2.2 million was the amount paid for the original manuscript of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" in 2001.
$2.2 million was the amount of a recent loan from the World Bank to Morocco for coastal protection.
$2.2 million will buy 12 average family homes in Jennings' hometown of Salt Lake City.
$2.2 million is 44 times greater than the average salary of a software engineer.
Jennings, who has developed a celebrity-like following since his June 2 debut, juggles his current job developing software for CHG Companies, Inc. with multiple media requests. He has been featured on the front page of USA Today, presented the "Top Ten List" on Late Show with David Letterman, shared the couch with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show and was named "Person of the Week" by ABC World News Tonight. However, easy-going Jennings says he is just as comfortable staying at home with his wife, Mindy, and playing with their 21-month-old son, Dylan, and dog, Banjo.
A Jeopardy! rule change introduced at the beginning of Season 20 allows contestants to continue playing as long as they keep winning. Previously, champions had been limited to five wins. The rule change means that Jennings returns today to compete again, and try to add to his record-setting winnings.
Jeopardy!, a winner of 24 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, was recently listed among "The Greatest Game Shows of All Time" by TV Guide, and continues to be a ratings champion. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication, and has held that title for over 1,000 weeks.
Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed domestically by King World Productions, Inc. The series is distributed internationally by CBS Paramount International Television.