Ken Jennings, Jeopardy!
The world was introduced to Ken Jennings in 2004 when he secured the #2 position of being the highest-earning game show contestant in U.S. television game show history. He had a 74 game winning-streak and amassed a staggering $3,196,300!
Ken was able to go on a 74 game winning-streak due to the rule change that occurred right before he appeared on the show. Prior to Ken, a contestant could only appear on 5 consecutive regular season shows. This rule change enabled Ken to rake in over $2,520,700 in game show winnings, over the course of 74 consecutive games. In addition to the amount won from the 74 games, he also appeared on special edition tournaments and saw his Jeopardy! win rise to $3,196,300!
After his success on Jeopardy! Ken tried his hand at a couple of other game shows, including Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which he won another $500,000 on. To date, his game show winnings total: $3,422,700.
The answer on his first Final Jeopardy Clue: “She’s the first female track & field athlete to win medals in 5 different events at a single Olympics.” Ken’s response: “Who is Jones?” Ken barely got it right since Jones is a popular last name, but the judges and Alex Trebek allowed it (actually, it’s Marion Jones).