I quite enjoy a good game of Jeapordy in the evenings. It sits so nicely in that period of time between dinner and putting the kids to bed (or watching a primetime show). While I used to watch the show every now and then, ever since Ken Jennings began to play I’ve been watching with much greater frequency. Judging by the show’s ratings, which have increased very significantly in the past months, so have many other people. My explanation is that we are so impressed by watching someone who is absolutely the best at what he does. Ben Stein can hold keep his money and all those folks who answered a few questions on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire have nothing on this guy. Here are a few of his records:
Most consecutive appearances on Jeopardy!
Most consecutive appearances on a syndicated game show
Highest total winnings on Jeopardy! in non-tournament play
Highest total winnings on a syndicated game show
Highest total winnings on a game show
Highest total winnings in one day on Jeopardy!
Highest 5-game total on Jeopardy!, consecutive
Highest 5-game total on Jeopardy!, best 5 games.
Since he began his streak (the first episode aired June 2), he has accumulated $2,197,000 in winnings, provided over 2000 correct responses and sent 130 challengers packing.
In early September a rumor began to the affect that Jennings streak came to an end (since the shows are taped weeks or months in advance) sometime around his 75th episode. That would give him approximately another two weeks before he is finally dethroned. Once that happens I doubt we will ever see another person who is as dominant in the game as Jennings is. Of course he will return for the Tournament of Champions where you have to assume he will add $250,000 to his winnings.
As one might expect, Jennings has developed something of a cult following. A Google search will reveal all sorts of interesting facts about him. For example, you would find a list of his 2000 favorite movies or find that he carries a good luck charm with him during show tapings.
Personally I’d like to see him stick around for good. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and I suspect that time is coming soon for Mr Jennings.