They say everyone has a doppelganger. There are, after all, close to 8 billion people on Earth. And though combinations of DNA that a human can embody are essentially infinite, there are only so many genes that specify the shape and appearance of the face. As such, having a lookalike isn’t as unlikely as it might seem.
Finding that lookalike, however, is another matter entirely. Your doppelganger could live halfway around the world in a town in some faraway country you would and will never even consider visiting.
That said, the internet and the rise of social media drastically increase the chances of stumbling upon a person with whom you share an uncanny resemblance. And though it’s still highly unlikely, it does happen. Just this week, in fact, it happened to Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings.
The man lives in Queensland, Australia, and hilariously shares not only a face but a name similar to Jennings. The name of the Australian native who bears a striking resemblance to Ken Jennings? Ben Pennings.
No, it’s not a joke. And to prove it, Ken Jennings posted a picture of the man to his Twitter account, along with the Guardian article in which he was featured. “Flying to Brisbane tonight to support my heroic Australian clone,” Jennings wrote.
Flying to Brisbane tonight to support my heroic Australian clone. https://t.co/POF3hhojEW— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) September 2, 2022
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ken Jennings social media post without a joke. So, a few minutes later, he added, “Full disclosure: Ben Pennings is the original. I lost the coin toss and changed my name after the transporter mishap.”
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans React to Ken Jennings’ Doppelganger
Ken Jennings’ reaction to finding his Australian doppelganger was hilarious, but the responses he received across social media were somehow even better. Is it any surprise that Jeopardy! fans are extremely quick-witted?
Lead a double life if you must, Ken, but please use a better alias!— Felipe Sobreiro (@therealsobreiro) September 2, 2022
“Even his name is only 2 letters different. Somebody was lazy creating algorithms for this matrix,” one fan wrote in the Jeopardy! subreddit. “Our writers got lazy or outsourced it to lower dimensional beings who cut corners,” another agreed.
Ben Pennings sounds like the fake name you’d come up with at the last second in a spy comedy.— baebushka (@maximumcoze) September 2, 2022
While jokes flew from every direction, some fans were too astounded by the similarities between Ken Jennings and Ben Pennings to react with humor. “The fact that they’re so eerily similar-looking AND with such similar names, especially being from two different sides of the world, is absolutely mind-blowing,” one fan wrote.
“That is just…unreal. I suppose with 6 billion people on Earth or whatnot that we all probably have a few doppelgangers running around, but um…wow,” another said.