The Category Is: Jeopardy Legends

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers from the Jan. 8, 2020 “Jeopardy!” GOAT Tournament.

Even though you may not know his name, Ken Jennings is a “Jeopardy!” icon who will go down in history. Ken, the official GOAT (Greatest of All Time) in the game of “Jeopardy!,” has finally clinched the trophy for what could be host Alex Trebek’s last tournament. Alex is battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and Ken wanted to participate in a GOAT tournament one last time with Alex as the host. Jennings came out on top, clinching the $1 million prize.

Photo from Eric McCandless, ABC via Associated Press

Ken’s passion for “Jeopardy!” began when he was in his teens. While his father worked as an attorney in Singapore and Korea, Ken’s only form of American entertainment was through “Jeopardy!.” After school, he would always watch the show, mesmerized by the game and its players. His childhood dream was to be a contestant on “Jeopardy!,” but this dream vanished when he moved back to the United States.

After a few years of living in the United States, Ken noticed his friends were consistently showing up on “Jeopardy!,” and they were bringing in thousands of dollars to pay off their student loans! Inspired, he decided to revive his childhood dream and become a contestant on “Jeopardy!.” 

When Ken Jennings first took the stage, audiences did not realize he would become the greatest “Jeopardy!” player in history. Much to his surprise, he won a record of 74 games consecutively — earning his spot as a “Jeopardy!” icon. Can we have some of your winnings, Ken? 

Photo via

In the most recent GOAT tournament, three “Jeopardy!” icons battled it out in a ruthless and rapid style. Ken faced intense competition: James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter. James, who is a 36-year-old from Illinois, is known for winning the most money in a single game. He racked up $131,127 in one episode, wowing audiences all across America. 

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Ken’s other opponent, Brad Rutter, is known for winning the most games in a regular-season appearance. The 41-year-old from Pennsylvania won $4,688,436 throughout his games, making him another “Jeopardy!” icon. What’s the secret? VALLEY wants to know! 

Brad Rutter photo via

In the Jan. 8 GOAT tournament, Ken took home the trophy by winning night one and night three. He used strategic methods, like betting all of his winnings and consistently playing “Daily Doubles.” This gave him an advantage over his opponents, ultimately helping him win it all. 

In honor of what might be Alex’s last GOAT tournament, all three contestants wore purple ribbons to demonstrate their support for Alex and his fight. The game was a very emotional, yet humbling. Audiences across America were reminded of Alex’s long-time dedication for “Jeopardy!,” and how the show is deeper than money and winners.

We love you, Alex! 

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