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Jeopardy! Crowns Its All-Time Champion

Ken Jennings wins 3rd match in GOAT tournament
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2020 2:54 AM CST
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In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 photo, Ken Jennings poses at the 2020 ABC Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, in Pasadena, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
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(Newser) – It's official: Ken Jennings is the greatest Jeopardy! contestant of all time. The 45-year-old won his third two-game match in the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time tournament, taking both the title and the $1 million prize. Jennings, whose 74-game winning streak in 2004 has never been equalled, defeated fellow champions James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, USA Today reports. "It has taken 15 years for Ken Jennings to finally answer the question, 'Is he as good as he appeared to be in that great run on Jeopardy?'" said host Alex Trebek. Holzhauer, who won one match, and Rutter, who won none, will receive $250,000 each for taking part in the tournament. Rutter still holds the record for highest Jeopardy! earnings.

Before the tournament, fans wondered how Jennings would fare against Holzhauer, a professional gambler whose high-risk betting strategy gave him the top 16 spots in the Jeopardy! record books during last year's 32-game winning streak. Jennings ended up adopting Holzhauer's strategy, which, together with his trivia knowledge, was a "lethal combination," the New York Times reports. On Tuesday night, the outcome was uncertain until the "Final Jeopardy!" clue in the second game: "He has 272 speeches, the most of any non-title character in a Shakespeare tragedy." Rutter, who was already out of the running, wrote "You are the best, Alex!" Holzhauer, who had bet everything, incorrectly answered "Who is Horatio?", giving the win to Jennings, who had the correct response: "Who is Iago?" (Read more Jeopardy stories.)

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