All-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings to discuss the significance of trivia


Photo provided by “Jeopardy!”

Ken Jennings, holder of the longest winning streak on “Jeopardy!” speaks at Miami March 7.

By Claudia Zaunz

“Jeopardy!“ legend Ken Jennings brings his wealth of trivial knowledge to Oxford 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, in the Wilks Theater of Armstrong Student Center. 

Jennings is holder of the longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak (74 consecutive games), highest regular-season winnings ($2,520,700), and highest average correct responses per match (35.9) in the game show’s history. His talk, part of Miami’s University Lecture Series, will explain the importance of having that kind of trivial knowledge and what it can do for you. 

Growing up overseas in Korea and Singapore, Jennings watched “Jeopardy!” “religiously after school every afternoon,” according to his website. As the captain of the quiz bowl team at Brigham Young University, where he began writing and editing questions for the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, Jennings realized that winning quiz shows could help him pay off his student loans. 

The former software engineer for a Salt Lake City health care staffing company was selected to appear on the show in 2004, a call that would change his life. His appearance extended far beyond a single game, as Jennings took advantage of a recent rule change, allowing him to appear indefinitely until he lost Nov. 30, 2004. 

Jennings, 47, has since become a best-selling author and joined the ”Jeopardy!” cast as a consulting producer in 2020, and now as an alternating host of the show. His lecture had to be rescheduled from last semester as Jennings happened to be the host of the show on the day he was supposed to visit Miami University.

Over the COVID-19 pandemic, students started being more interested in quiz shows such as “Jeopardy!,” so the student committee in charge of the lecture series supported inviting Jennings to speak, said JS Bragg, assistant director of student organizations. 

“One of the foundations of liberal arts education is having a wide breadth and depth of knowledge and that’s what Ken Jennings is and what he’s coming to talk about,” Bragg said.

“Part of what he’s going to do is help you understand ‘oh here’s the benefit of having that well-rounded education knowledge.’ ” 

General admission tickets are available through Miami’s Box Office. A link to the livestream (passcode: 929103) is available for those who cannot attend in-person.