Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, a Utah software engineer who so far has won a record $920,960, will make an unprecedented 29th appearance on the syndicated quiz show Monday night – though that won’t be his only TV gig.
Jennings, 30, also is set to appear Monday on ABC’s Good Morning America and on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, where he will reportedly deliver the evening’s Top 10 list.
Jennings’s run of luck and skill (“A lot of it is just God-given memory that I can’t take any credit for”) started airing June 2. Shows are filmed in advance, with a week’s worth done in a single day.
“I remember the first time I was watching Diane Sawyer mention me,” Jennings tells the Associated Press. “Suddenly hearing her say, ‘Ken Jennings,’ it was very surreal. It’s a little weird to me I get recognized in the grocery store, and Letterman’s calling.”
A Seattle native who grew up in South Korea (his father works for an international law firm in Seoul) Jennings watched Jeopardy on the U.S. Armed Forces TV network and thought to himself, “Hey, maybe you could go on Jeopardy. You’re not half bad at it.”
That’s an understatement. Jennings expects to invest his winnings for his wife, Mindy, and their 11/2-year-old son, Dylan. There will be a splurge or two, he also says, probably on a trip to Europe.