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Ken Jennings, Jeopardy player with most wins of all time, makes stop in Heartland

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:56 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) -The world’s greatest Jeopardy player stopped at a Heartland college campus Thursday to meet with students and speak to the community.

Ken Jennings stopped at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Earlier in the day students joined Jennings in some Saluki Jeopardy.

In the evening he spoke to a crowd of students and community members inside Shryock Auditorium.

“I’m excited to be able too speak at events and universities a little bit again because I haven’t been able to do it in a long time so it feels a little bit normal,” says Ken Jennings

Jennings was supposed to speak at SIU last school year but that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

During an interview today, He told us what education really means to him.

“Education means a lot to me, it changed my life. But it also, even when I was a kid like that was the thing that I was passionate about, like learning stuff,” explains Jennings.

Jennings set the Jeopardy record with 74 consecutive wins. That still stands as the longest winning streak on the game show.

“I still marvel at the whole thing happened at all. I mean just to be able to go on your, the tv show you loved as a kid you know. To be on it once would of been a dream come true. And the fact that I won that first game and got to say hey ‘I’m a Jeopardy champion now’ like, I was good from there. You know everything since then has been gravy,” says Jennings

It was announced Thursday he will begin co-hosting the show he grew up loving for the rest of the season. Miyam Bialik will split time as the host as well.

“I take it really seriously because the show has always meant such a lot to me. I used to run home from school everyday to watch Jeopardy. It’s always been my favorite show,” says Jennings

He also hinted on what it means to carry on the legacy of legendary host Alex Trebek.

“Alex meant a lot to me, and making sure that jeopardy kinda stays the timeless cultural institution it always has. Is really important to me. And I’m going to do my best to make sure that happens on my watch,” explains Jennings

The record he set that has not been touched since he lost last. He believes it can be broken

“I think it can be done. I think the 74 game record can is beatable, and I say that because I was there the first time it happened and I know it can be done. So somewhere out there Is the person that can beat 74 wins in Jeopardy,” says Jennings.

Jennings also brought copies of his newest book to campus. It’s his 12th book.

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