There’s no disputing the Ken Jennings is a excellent person. His substantial knowledge that both historical and current occasions was put on full display during his 74 video game winning streak ~ above Jeopardy!, i m sorry reinvigorated interest in the game and also captivated audience from shore to coast.

It’s wild come think that Jennings’s historical run — still the longest in the video game show’s background — practically didn’t take place at all. Plus, despite how well-known Jennings has end up being in the Jeopardy! pan community, one human came an extremely close come beating his total earnings on the show.

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Ken Jennings | Jeopardy Productions via Getty Images

Ken Jenningsalmost never ever auditioned for the show

The computerprogrammer was on a expedition with a friend when he determined to audition because that Jeopardy!,a lifelong dream the his. However that dream almost died prior to it began thanks tosome roadblocks native the beginning.

“The year before, i was down in Los Angeles with a girlfriend of mine on a quick vacation, and also we constantly talked around trying out for Jeopardy! because our work on a university quiz-bowl team,” Jennings called Vulture.

“We calledSony and also found the end that there were no auditions the week, and also it was actuallya couple of days after us were planning come leave. Us were super bummed, yet finallysaid, ‘You recognize what? Let’s just come back. Why not?’”

The friends go back, got accepted, and also one year later on Jennings started his historical run top top the show.

this day we went back nearly 16 years to watch #KenJennings' an initial Jeopardy! win. Tomorrow we fast-forward to video game 1 that #JeopardyGOAT!

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Jennings wonmillions the dollars play ‘Jeopardy!’

At the time,Jennings had the modest goal of win a single game of Jeopardy!

“I assumed it would certainly be an excellent to win. Just one game!” the revealed. “That was my just goal. I was happy with one, and everything after the was gravy.”

Jennings started his streak through the show that aired June 2, 2004. That easily completed his goal of winning one video game — by the end, Jennings had actually won 74 right games and also amassed a small fortune of simply over $2.5 million.

Nipping close at his heels was other rock star contestant James Holzhauer, that won almost as lot as Jennings in half the time in 2019. If Holzhauer had ongoing his to win streak even by a single game, he would certainly have had actually a chance at surpassing the record Jennings set.

Ken Jenningsrecently showed he’s tho the best of the best

We're wrapping up the #JeopardyGOAT encore event with #KenJennings' last episode from his 74-game streak. Don't miss out on it!

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Fans room buzzing the Jennings have to be thought about to replace Alex Trebek as soon as he retires indigenous his tenure hosting Jeopardy! and then may have actually a point.

In a recent tournament called Jeopardy!: The best of every Time, Jennings to be matched up v Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, an additional top-earning contestant. And also even despite Jennings worried around winning after so plenty of years, he came out ~ above top once again. His prize? A cool $1 million.

Previously, Jennings winner several various other tournaments, consisting of a $2,000 second-place compensation in his 75th appearance whereby he lost in 2004, a $500,000 compensation in the Jeopardy! Ultimate tournament of Champions in 2005, a $300,000 prize in Jeopardy’s IBM Challenge in 2011, a $100,000 compensation in the Jeopardy! battle of the Decades (2014), and a $100,000 compensation in the Jeopardy! All-Star Games.

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But hostingthe show can be the can be fried jackpot because that this game present whiz. Currently, AlexTrebek earns $10 million every year hosting Jeopardy!, making the the top paidgame present host.