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Ken Jennings Named Greatest Jeopardy! Contestant of All Time

It’s a big night for Ken Jennings.The 45-year-old Washington state native and the contestant with the longest Jeopardy! winning streak of all time has officially become the game show’s “Greatest of All Time” after claiming the title on Tuesday. What’s more, Jennings is also claiming 1 million dollars and the respect from host Alex Trebek. This also marks Jennings’ third victory out of four matches in ABC’s Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time tournament. Jennings beat fellow top contestants James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter. Since they’re the three highest-earning champions in Jeopardy! history, the contestants were pitted against each other to see who would come out on top. Ultimately, it became a faceoff between Jennings and Rutter, who has won the most money in game show history and Holzhauer who holds more Jeopardy! records than any contestant. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jennings came into the “match leading the series, with two wins to Holzhauer’s one and Rutter’s zero” but “the two-game showdown was a close race between Holzhauer and Jennings.” 

However, even with Jennings’ $1 million prize (the other two contestants will receive $250,000), Rutter still holds the title for winning the most money in Jeopardy! history with his $4.6 million total. He first appeared back in 2000. But, the GOAT title now belongs to Jennings. 

Another person worthy of the GOAT title, however, is the host itself. Battling pancreatic cancer, Trebek soldiered on when he came back to primetime for the series of games. Speaking at the 2020 Television Critics Association winter press tour, the 79-year-old looked ahead to the day he will sign off the show he’s called home since 1984. “Some days are better than others,” Trebek said about the current state of his health while promoting Jeopardy: The Greatest of All Time. “My resistance is lower than most of you, of course, because of the treatments I’ve been having, and as you can tell I have the cold that seems to be going around. They’ve got me off one of my chemo drugs, which was killing me. I won’t know ‘til tomorrow, I go in for some tests, and then another week or so until I find out where things stand.”Trebek continued, “Keep in mind, I’m 79 now, and I don’t foresee that 30-second [goodbye speech] coming up in the near future.” 

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