"JEOPARDY!" CHAMPION KEN JENNINGS MAKES TELEVISION HISTORY, SHATTERS ALL-TIME GAME SHOW WIN STREAK!
(Culver City, CA) September 16, 2004 - It's official-Jeopardy!'s master player, Ken Jennings, now holds the record for the longest winning streak in television game show history. On the Wednesday, September 15 episode, Ken eclipsed former Tic Tac Dough contestant Thom McKee's previous record of appearing the most days on a game show with his 46th winning appearance.
McKee, a former Navy pilot turned commercial real estate developer, had held the honor for 24 years, having appeared on Tic Tac Dough for 45 days in 1980 and winning $312,700 in cash and prizes.
"I'm pulling for him," McKee told ESPN 2's Cold Pizza this past July. "Records are made to be broken, and Ken is an amazing contestant. I want to see it happen."
Web site tvgameshows.net reported this week that McKee recently "offered a congratulatory e-mail to Ken-and that he (McKee) planned to invite Jennings to dinner at his house and to play a game of Trivial Pursuit!"
Jennings, a quiz show sensation, debuted on Jeopardy! June 2, and has since amassed a fortune of $1,555, 061 during his amazing run (placing him fourth in the All-Time Top Cash Winners' circle on network and in syndication). He returns tonight to defend his championship on what critics say is "the world's toughest quiz show."
A Jeopardy! rule change introduced at the beginning of last season allows contestants to continue playing as long as they keep winning. Previously, champions had been limited to five wins.
Jeopardy!, a winner of 24 Emmy awards since its debut in 1984, was recently listed among "The Greatest Game Shows of All Time" by TV Guide, and continues to be a ratings champion. The series is the #1-rated quiz show in syndication, and has held that title for over 1,000 weeks. Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed domestically by King World Productions, Inc. The series is also distributed internationally by CBS Paramount International Television.