‘Jeopardy!’: This Contestant Has Been Holding Onto Her Ken Jennings Good Luck Charm Since 2004

by Caitlin Berard

If you’ve ever written fan mail, you know that it feels a bit like shouting into the void and hoping for a response. It’s a gamble as to whether or not anyone will ever see it, let alone send a reply. For one lucky Jeopardy! contestant, however, that unlikely dream came true – and she hasn’t let it go since.

Back in 2004, a teenage Carrie Christian sent a fan letter to Ken Jennings as part of an English assignment. Apparently, Jennings not only read the letter but was so touched by it that he sent a response in the form of a signed photo of himself and Alex Trebek. Beneath the picture, Jennings wrote, “Carrie – thanks for being a fan!” and signed his name.

Though she maintains that she only wrote the letter for an assignment, she’s held on to the photo for the better part of two decades as a good luck charm.

Upon learning about the photo, Jennings asks, “Has it brought you luck?” to which Christian replies, “It has, I think, I’m here!” It’s hard to argue with that logic, and Ken Jennings agrees, saying, “You made it on the show, that’s the hard part. Congratulations!”

A Jeopardy! contestant bringing a signed photograph of Ken Jennings that she received as a teenage fan? It doesn’t get more heartwarming than that.

One ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Left Executive Producer Stunned

Though there have been countless Jeopardy! contestants over the show’s decades-long run, few have impressed producers to the point of speechlessness. Well, that’s exactly what recent record-breaking contestant, Amy Schneider, accomplished.

Following her astonishing 40-day win streak, Jeopardy! producer, Michael Davies, shared his thoughts on the exceptional participant. “I could really write my own book about her brilliance and courage,” Davies said. “What her run means and represents, and how important it is, but others have done that better than I ever could.”

Continuing the glowing commentary, the executive producer wrote, “I could give you some more behind-the-scenes details of what it was like to watch her up close, but she’ll write that better from her point of view, and has already. And to be honest, most of the time in the control room and on stage, we were just stunned into submission at her extraordinary talent for the game.”

In addition to being in awe of her talent, Davies expressed admiration for her grace. “She was gracious in victory, she was gracious in defeat and she is gracious and thoughtful and kind with everything that she says and writes,” Davies said. “That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have strong (and valuable) opinions. She most certainly does. But because of the manner in which she expresses herself, she commands and inspires respect and grace in return.”