‘Jeopardy!” contestant tops $1M
Ken Jennings, a software engineer from Utah, surpassed $1 million in winnings Tuesday on “Jeopardy!,” a record for that show.
In his 30th appearance on the show since the beginning of his marathon run June 2, Jennings added $32,000 to his previous winnings of $972,960 for a grand total of $1,004,960.
He sailed through the day’s categories, which included journalism, capital city burials, foreign animals and in-flight movies.
The Final Jeopardy category was “Headlines in the last 40 years” and the answer was: “The first two New York Times headlines set in 96-point type were in these two years, five years apart.” Although he posed an incorrect question, Jennings’ accumulated earnings put him far ahead of his competitors.
The correct question dealt with the years 1969 and 1974, when man walked on the moon and President Richard M. Nixon resigned.
On Friday and again on Monday, he tied the highest one-day winnings record of $52,000, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
A Seattle native who grew up in South Korea — his father works for an international law firm in Seoul — Jennings watched “Jeopardy!” on the U.S. Armed Forces TV network, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Jennings appeared on “Late Night with David Letterman” Monday to read the Top Ten list: Top Ten Ways To Irritate Alex Trebek, including No. 1, “Insist on buying a vowel.”
To mark the beginning of its 20th year in syndication last September, “Jeopardy!” lifted its five-game limit, allowing winners to keep going until they lose.
The original show, hosted by Art Fleming, was created in 1964 by Merv Griffin, who also wrote the show’s signature “think theme.”
The previous record-holder was Tom Walsh, 39 of Washington, D.C., who brought in $184,900 in winnings from a seven-day run in January.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.