"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?’" host Alex Trebek said

By Ashley Boucher
January 15, 2020 12:13 AM
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It’s official: Ken Jennings is Jeopardy!‘s GOAT!

On the fourth episode in the game show’s Greatest of All Time tournament against fellow Jeopardy! greats James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter, Jennings, 45, took home the crown.

“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?’” host Alex Trebek said after Jennings’ win.

In 2004, Jennings won 74 consecutive games.

Jennings was awarded $1 million, while Holzhauer and Rutter were each awarded $250,000.

Heading into Tuesday’s match, Jennings had two wins under his belt, meaning he only needed one more to end the tournament. Holzhauer came into Tuesday’s game with one win, after he voluntarily lost some points during Thursday night’s match to honor Trebek.

James Holzhauer, Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings
Eric McCandless/abc

Rutter didn’t win any matches during the GOAT tournament, but retains his title as the highest earner in the game show’s history, as pointed out by Entertainment Weekly. Rutter has earned $4.6 million in total playing the game, according to the outlet.

The GOAT tournament wasn’t the first meeting between Jennings and Rutter. The two contestants have played each other several times in the past, and Jennings lost every time — save for the IBM Challenge in 2011, when they both lost to the Watson computer.

Ken Jennings
Eric McCandless/abc

The competition comes amidst Trebek’s ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek was diagnosed in March 2019 and finished one round of treatment in August before revealing in September on Good Morning America that he was once again undergoing chemotherapy.

Alex Trebek
Eric McCandless/abc

“I was doing so well and my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who does not have pancreatic cancer, so we were all very optimistic,” he said at the time. “They said, ‘Good, we’re going to stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy,’ and I lost about 12 lbs. in a week and my numbers went sky-high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed.”

And while Trebek said recently that once he’s retired from his hosting duties he plans to “drink” and “work around the house,” a co-worker of Trebek’s told PEOPLE in December that Trebek “has no plans to quit, and is absolutely not announcing his retirement [anytime soon].”