Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Jeopardy's Ken Jennings Loses 2004
Kenneth Wayne "Ken" Jennings III (born May 23, 1974) is an American game show contestant. Jennings is noted for holding the record for the longest winning streak on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy! and was the all-time leading money winner on American game shows. In 2004, Jennings won 74 Jeopardy! games before he was defeated by challenger Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance. His total earnings on Jeopardy! are US $3,022,700 ($2,520,700 over his 74 wins, a $2,000 second-place prize in his 75th appearance, and a $500,000 second-place prize in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions).
During his first run of Jeopardy! appearances, Jennings earned the record for the highest American game show winnings. His total was surpassed by Brad Rutter, who defeated Jennings in the finals of the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions (first aired on May 25, 2005), adding $2,000,000 to Rutter's existing Jeopardy! winnings. Jennings regained the record after appearing on several other game shows, culminating in an appearance on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (first aired on October 10, 2008), though Rutter retains the Jeopardy! record.
After his success on Jeopardy!, Jennings wrote of his experience and explored American trivia history and culture in Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, published in 2006. Jennings also appeared as a member of the mob on the game show 1 vs. 100 in 2006, and in 2007 he was the champion of the US version of Grand Slam.
On November 30, 2004, Jennings's long reign as Jeopardy! champion ended when he lost his seventy-fifth game to challenger Nancy Zerg. Jennings responded incorrectly to both Double Jeopardy! Daily Doubles, causing him to lose a combined $10,200 ($5,400 and $4,800 respectively) and leaving him with $14,400 at the end of the round. As a result, for only the tenth time in 75 games Jennings did not have an insurmountable lead going into the Final Jeopardy! round. Only Jennings and Zerg, who ended Double Jeopardy! with $10,000, were able to play Final Jeopardy! as third place contestant David Hankins failed to finish with a positive score after Double Jeopardy!.
The Final Jeopardy! category was Business and Industry, and the answer was "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." Zerg responded correctly with "What is H&R Block?" and wagered $4,401 of her $10,000, giving her a $1 lead over Jennings with his response still to be revealed. Jennings incorrectly responded with "What is FedEx?" and lost the game with a final score of $8,799 after his $5,601 wager was deducted from his score. He was awarded $2,000 for his second place finish, which gave him a final total of $2,522,700 for his run on Jeopardy! Zerg, who Jennings called a "formidable opponent," finished in third place on the next show.
Jennings' 75 matches took place over a span of 182 calendar days, which included stoppages for the show's summer break, one Kids Week series of episodes, the 2004 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, and the 2004 Jeopardy! College Championship.
The original version of the show, hosted by Art Fleming, which debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, was taped in Studio 6A at NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. In addition to Studio 6A, Studio 8G was also frequently used to record the show.
The 1978 version of the show, The All-New Jeopardy!, was taped from NBC Studio 3 in Burbank, California, with a set designed by Henry Lickel and Dennis Roof.
When the syndicated Jeopardy! premiered in 1984, it was taped at Metromedia Stage 7, KTTV-TV, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. From 1985 to 1994, the show was taped at Hollywood Center Studios' Stage 9.
After the final shows of Season 10 were taped on February 15, 1994, production moved to Sony Pictures Studios' Stage 10 on Washington Boulevard in Culver City, California, where the first shows of Season 11 were taped on July 12, 1994.