Ken Jennings Dealt ‘Jeopardy!’ Answer That Ended His Streak 18 Years Ago


In addition to being the Jeopardy! host, Ken Jennings is also one of the most successful champions on the game show. Even he trips up sometimes, though, and Jennings relived one of his biggest goofs in a recent episode. 

Ken Jennings’ Game Show History

Jennings is the highest-earning American game show contestant ever, competing on shows like Jeopardy!, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and racking up over $4 million. 

He also holds the record for the longest winning streak on Jeopardy!, with 74 consecutive wins. His streak ended in 2004 when he lost to Nancy Zerg. The Final Jeopardy! clue tripped Jennings up, and he incorrectly guessed “What is FedEx?” instead of H&R Block. 

The Clue That Called Back To Jennings’ Big Loss

Jennings had to relive this embarrassing moment in a recent episode of Jeopardy! when he gave contestants the clue, “This company that offers tax preparation services is named for its founders, brothers Henry and Richard.”

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Contestant Ellen LaBerge answered correctly, with “What is H&R Block?” Jennings jokingly replied, “Very good! I didn’t know that one.” Fans appreciated the host’s lighthearted reference to the question that ended his winning streak. 

“As soon as the question came up I loved the irony,” someone commented on a video of the interaction. “It’s great that Ken made a comment afterwards.” Another person said they “loved” Jennings’ reference to the loss, saying they still remember that 2004 episode. 

His Continued History With ‘Jeopardy!’

Even though the memory of that loss probably still stings, Jennings has done pretty well for himself. Following his winning streak, Jennings also competed in Jeopardy!’s Ultimate Tournament of Champions, “IBM Challenge,” Battle of the Decades tournament, and the All-Star Games. 

In 2020, he signed on as a consulting producer on Jeopardy!, where he read categories on the air. Following Alex Trebek’s death later that year, Jennings was brought on as a guest host before being named a permanent guest host in 2022 alongside Mayim Bialik. 

Fans of the game show love seeing Jennings host Jeopardy! and share some of his experience as a contestant with today’s players. It’s also nice to know that he can laugh about the end of his winning streak!

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