Fans of Jeopardy! have gotten to know legendary champion Ken Jennings well over the last couple of decades. He’s the most successful contestant in the history of the game show and has even recently filled in as an interim host. However, we don’t know nearly as much about his wife, Mindy Jennings. So let’s get to know the quiz show champion’s better half.
Jennings keeps his family life fairly private past an occasional social media post or mentioning them in interviews in passing. He’s used to the spotlight after being in it for years, but his family seems to prefer their privacy, and no one could blame them.
Mindy didn’t know that when she started dating Jennings in college that he would become a public figure. Nor could she have known just how successful he would be as a Jeopardy! contestant.
The couple met while attending Brigham Young University. According to The Sun, Jennings told his college roommate he wanted to ask Mindy out. Yet Mindy says it took him nine months to muster up the courage to do so. Everything worked out in the end though, and Jennings eventually won her over. In fact, only a few months after graduating in 2000, the couple got married.
Ken Jennings and Mindy Jennings Start Their Life Together
With the newlyweds fresh out of college, each started their professional careers. Jennings began his work career as a software engineer and his wife became a preschool teacher.
A couple of years later, the couple welcomed their first child in 2002; a baby boy named Dylan. Four years later, Mindy gave birth to their second child; a baby girl named Caitlin. With Jennings earning fame and fortune on Jeopardy! in 2004, neither child grew up realizing their father was one of the smartest men in America.
Yet Mindy says that’s the way he prefers it. He’s never been overly arrogant about his intelligence. Instead, he wanted to be known for his humor.
“He mostly wanted people to know he was funny,” Mindy said to The Week in a 2013 interview. “He’s not the type of person who wants you to know he knows everything.”
As Jennings said in the same interview, the couple’s life completely changed in 2004 once he repeatedly won Jeopardy!.
“My career change has been the biggest surprise. I was a perfectly happy suburban dad and computer programmer back in 2004, the year I turned 30,” Ken Jennings explained. “I was not expecting to win on Jeopardy! for six months straight and start a new career as a writer and professional know-it-all.”
Even though Mindy and Ken’s life can be a juggling act with Jennings’ demanding career and raising two teenagers, they seem to have it under control.
“We have a pretty hard-and-fast rule that the kids have to be in their rooms around 8:30 or 9. They don’t have to be asleep, but devices stay plugged in downstairs so they actually have to do something boring like read a book,” he shared in 2013.
Furthermore, it allows the couple to spend some quality free time together. The college sweethearts sound like they have everything in order.
“This gives me and Mindy a few child-free hours to put on a movie or the next couple episodes of whatever show we’re watching,” Jennings added.
I’ll take “Parenting For The Win,” Alex.