As the most successful game show contestant of all time, Ken Jennings earns himself a nice payday with all of his winnings.
His legendary initial run on hit quiz show Jeopardy! saw Jennings win a mind-boggling 74 straight episodes. That string of wins put over $2.5 million in his pocket. But Jennings wasn’t done with big gameshow money just yet. He appeared on Jeopardy! several more times, including winning a tournament to determine the Greatest Jeopardy! champion of all time. Jennings would convincingly win the title of “GOAT” in the tournament, defeating several other big-name Jeopardy! winners.
Ken Jennings Appears on and Wins Other Game Shows
His success on Jeopardy! would lead to earning chances on other game shows like “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” In all of his game show appearances, he has won just south of $4 million. He now makes frequent appearances on the game show “Master Minds” as one of the show’s “chasers” to compete against contestants.
Jennings game show wins have allowed a life of luxury for him and his family. They were able to purchase a new home in the Seattle area not long after his Jeopardy! appearances. According to Business Insider, Jennings says he spends his winnings on the “three essential t’s” which are taxes, tithing and widescreen TV. Jennings is a Mormon and the Church of Latter-Day Saints commands their partitioners to give 10 percent of their income to the church.
Jennings has also noted that he invests most of his game show earnings in stocks, bonds and real estate. In his blog, he says he hopes to make the most of his earnings.
“I don’t want to be one of these lottery winners you see bankrupt on TV a few years later, having already lost it all,” he says.
Most recently, Jennings filled in as a guest host for Jeopardy! in place of the late long-time host Alex Trebek. He expects to receive consideration for the full-time gig when Jeopardy! officials decide to go that route. Journalist Katie Couric is currently serving as the show’s guest host with NFL star Aaron Rodgers awaiting his turn.