Fewer game show contestants have made a lasting impression like Ken Jennings. In 2004, Ken captured the hearts — and TVs — of millions by winning a whopping 74 games of Jeopardy!, and appearing on the show for six months. A record still to this day.
After his streak ended, Ken's national fame, not surprisingly, was extended and he appeared on numerous talk shows, including The Tonight Show, The Late Show With David Letterman, Live With Regis and Kelly, and even Sesame Street. Once a software developer, Ken has maintained his career as a professional brainiac since appearing on the game show — and here's what he's up to today.
He's an author.
After being crowned the "King of Trivia Nation," it was only natural that the 43-year-old became an author of — what else? — trivia books. Some of his books include Brainiac, which talks about the obsession with trivia in America, Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac, which is the biggest trivia book ever assembled in America, and Maphead, about his "lifelong obsession with geography." In addition to trivia books, the father-of-two has also penned a parenting book called Because I Said So!
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) February 25, 2016
He's a commercial star.
After losing on Jeopardy on a question about H&R Block, Ken has appeared in numerous commercials. The Seattle resident has had guest spots in ads for FedEx, Allstate, Microsoft, Cingular, IBM, and yes, even H&R Block. Ken also speaks at colleges and at corporate events on the importance of learning.
He's still in the game show circuit.
Clearly, game shows are in Ken's blood, as he's appeared on many more since his Jeopardy! stint ended. He appeared as a host for two GSN Live shows, Stump the Master and Clued In. He also returned to Jeopardy! a few times for tournaments, racking up three second-place finishes. Additionally, Ken's appeared on the show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, stopping at the final question, proving, evidently, that he's not smarter than an elementary school student. In addition to keeping his trivia game strong, Ken also had a column for Mental Floss magazine called "Six Degrees of Ken Jennings."
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) October 24, 2017
He's social media savvy.
Ken's Twitter was named one of "The 75 Best Twitter Accounts of 2014" by Paste magazine, ranking it at #10. He doesn't have a Instagram account, but he has almost 300,000 followers on his Twitter. In addition to posting random fun facts and irreverent observations about society to social media, Ken also runs a blog. Every Tuesday, Ken emails subscribers seven trivia questions, one of which is designed to be Google-resistant. A trivia lover's dream!
He's not immune to controversy.
Despite the fact that he's beloved by most of America, Ken found himself in hot water earlier this year when he tweeted a joke about Barron Trump. According to TMZ, after the president's youngest son saw the photo Kathy Griffin posted to Twitter (you know, the one of her holding his bloody, severed head), Barron cried. Shortly after the news broke, Ken tweeted, "Barron Trump saw a very long necktie on a heap of expired deli meat in a dumpster. He thought it was his dad & his little heart is breaking." When the tweet garnered controversy, Jennings stuck to his guns, saying, "The joke doesn't mock Barron. It mocks using him for political cover."
Barron Trump saw a very long necktie on a heap of expired deli meat in a dumpster. He thought it was his dad & his little heart is breaking
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) May 31, 2017