How Ken Jennings Went From Desk Jockey To His New Role as ‘Jeopardy!’ Consulting Producer

by Jeremy Spirogis
Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings during the Greatest of All Time tournament on

The information that Jeopardy!‘s greatest player of all time, Ken Jennings, has joined the game show’s workers as consulting producer for the upcoming 37th season has each shocked and pleasantly stunned followers.

For Jennings, 46, merely turning into a contestant on the traditional quiz present was a dream come true.

Here’s a take a look at how he realized his goals and extra.

Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings during the Greatest of All Time tournament on 'Jeopardy!'
Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings throughout the Greatest of All Time match on ‘Jeopardy!’ | Eric McCandless/ABC through Getty Images

Ken Jennings almost didn’t audition for the quiz present

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: How Might Alex Trebek Do As a Contestant on the Quiz Show?

Back within the early 2000s, when he was nonetheless working a desk job as a software program engineer, Jennings and a friend deliberate on auditioning for the sport present, as he informed Vulture in May 2020.

“The yr earlier than, I used to be down in Los Angeles with a friend of mine on a brief trip, and we at all times talked about attempting out for Jeopardy! since our days on a school quiz-bowl workforce,” he mentioned.

“We called Sony and found out that there were no auditions that week, and it was actually a few days after we were planning to leave. We were super bummed, but finally said, ‘You know what? Let’s just come back. Why not?’”

Both he and his friend handed the take a look at and one yr later, in 2004, Jennings made his first look on the present, in the end profitable over $2.5 million in 74 consecutive video games on this system.

He turned the Greatest ‘Jeopardy!’ Player of All Time

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: Ken Jennings Finally Reveals the Secret to His Historic 2004 Win

In Jan. 2020, Jennings gained the sport present’s Greatest Of All Time title. The match pitted Jennings in opposition to heavyweight gamers Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer to compete for the last word title within the recreation present’s historical past.

Speaking with Canadian leisure web site Original-Cin in April 2020, the daddy of two opened up about his win, notably about how totally different it was to play in opposition to two fellow quiz present giants.

“We all get along really well and we are friends,” he mentioned. “On an everyday present you’ve bought three people who find themselves like deer within the headlights as a result of they’re on TV for the primary time taking part in for an enormous amount of cash.   We have performed the sport sufficient we’re not tremendous nervous. But that’s simply uncommon as a result of Jeopardy! is so traumatic. It’s nerve-wracking for the contestants. It’s nothing in any respect prefer it appears in your sofa.” 

Ken Jennings is again on ‘Jeopardy!,’ type of

Jennings, 46, most undoubtedly didn’t fade away after his epic 2004 win. Most notably, the quiz present legend, it was just lately introduced, has been introduced on to this system as a consulting producer. Part of his duties will embody presenting total classes of questions on Jeopardy! for its 37th season beginning Sept. 14.

Prior to his new position on the collection, Jennings additionally appeared on NBC’s 1 vs. 100 in 2006; Game Show Network’s Grand Slam in 2007; in 2008 on Are You Smarter Than a fifth Grader?; and in 2014, he took half in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Since April 2020, Jennings has been starring in Game Show Network’s Master Minds, which simply wrapped up airing 65 episodes in June 2020.

The Washington-born Jennings additionally just lately assisted in narrating the audiobook for Alex Trebek’s 2020 memoir, The Answer Is…

Regarding his consulting position in Jeopardy!‘s new season, Jennings stated, “Though I’ve performed my final spherical of Jeopardy! as a contestant, I’m delighted to have the chance to stay concerned with my favourite present,” Jennings mentioned.

“I’m still in on all the action, but I don’t have to worry about phrasing things in the form of a question anymore.”

RELATED: Ken Jennings’ ‘Jeopardy!’ Winning Streak Went So Long, He Admits He Started Making Up Contestant Interview Topics

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