Ken Jennings took his major “Jeopardy!” loss and made it into a success story.
Jennings is one of the most popular contestants to ever grace the “Jeopardy!” stage. In fact, he is even the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time.
On the show, he continues to hold the record for the longest winning streak with 74 consecutive wins. He also has the record for the highest average correct responses per game.
However, on November 30, 2004, Nancy Zerg ended his winning streak. The Final Jeopardy answer was “Employees at this white-collar firm work only four months of the year.” Zerg answered correctly with “H. and R. Block,” while Jennings gave the incorrect answer of “FedEx.”
Turning a Loss into Money
Despite losing what would have been his 75th win, Jennings has gone on to be pretty successful. His long run on the show provided him a lot of cash. He was also the guest host of the show following Alex Trebek’s death. Jennings has even been on other shows like “The Chase.”
However, following his loss he got a deal with FedEx.
According to IMDb, Jennings appeared in an ad for the company. He is seen at his podium, which is all photoshopped. The screen says his incorrect answer, “What is FedEx?” The company then added a caption to say, “There’s only one time FedEx has ever been the wrong answer.”
The ad immortalized Jennings’ loss forever. However, it also gave him more widespread recognition for his time on “Jeopardy!”
H&R block also jumped on the opportunity and offered Jennings free tax preparations for the rest of his life.
‘Jeopardy!’ Donates to the DOE Fund
Jennings received a lot of attention and deals following his time on the show.
However, “Jeopardy!” also worked to provide funds for those who really needed it. The team at “Jeopardy!” and Alex Trebek’s family donated a portion of his wardrobe to The Doe Fund.
According to Variety, this is a nonprofit organization that provides transitional work, educational opportunities, housing, career training, and counseling to those who were previously incarcerated, homeless, or a victim of substance abuse. The donation included 14 suits, 58 dresses shirts, 9 sports coats, 300 neckties, amongst many other clothing items.
“We are so grateful for ‘Jeopardy!’ and the Trebek family’s commitment to lifting up the most vulnerable among us. The men in our career training programs are always in need of professional attire, so they can shine in their job interviews and work with confidence once they’re hired. This donation alleviates the obstacle of not having appropriate clothing,” President of The Doe Fund Harriet McDonald said.