On this day in 2004, after winning 74 straight games and more than $2.5 million, Ken Jennings' amazing winning streak on Jeopardy! finally came to an end. Here are five things you didn't know about Jeopardy!
Ken Jennings Was Obsessed With Trivia as a Kid Ken Jennings developed a taste for trivia very early on in life and became a fan of game shows as a young child. In fact, he said one of the things he didn't like about starting school was that he would not be able to watch his game shows. When the family moved to South Korea for a time, one of the few English-language shows on TV was Jeopardy!
There’s a 2-Step Audition Process You have to take an online test (it’s only available once a year) and answer 50 questions in 15 minutes. They never reveal your score, but if you land above a certain percentage (people think 80-85%) you’re put into a pool. Names are drawn from the pool to complete the second step, which is an in-person audition.
The Show is All Taped in One Day Jeopardy! tapes 5 episodes in a day two days in a row, then takes a two-week break. Contestants spend the early morning filling out paperwork, getting your makeup done, and practicing your “fun facts” while casing the other contestants and doing practice rounds.If you win the first episode you’re on, you have about 10 minutes to change your clothes and touch up your makeup before taping episode number two.So yes, you need to pack more than one outfit.
Jeopardy! Has Set More Than a Few Guinness World Records A long-running game show is bound to set some records for a network, but Jeopardy! has made it into the Guinness World Records multiple times. Ken Jennings holds the longest consecutive wins on the show with a total of 74 games won in a row in 2004. Alex Trebek holds the record of most game show episodes hosted, announcer Johnny Gilbert holds the record as having the longest career as a game show announcer for one show, and producer Harry Friedman has the most Emmy Award wins by a game show producer.
Alex Trebek Was Once a TV Reporter Trebek has had a long career as the host of Jeopardy! as well as other game shows in the U.S. and Canada, but he also worked in TV as a reporter for a few years after college. He had started as a philosophy major but moved into journalism after he graduated. Just a few short years later, he decided to move into hosting game shows. Interestingly, his on-air reporter persona gained a reputation as cool and collected -- qualities that have endeared him to game show audiences globally.