Ken Jennings is known for his record winning streak on Jeopardy! as well as his job as host. Many people remember him for winning 74 games in a row, but what about the woman who ended his hot streak? Did you know Nancy Zerg actually lives in the same city as Jennings?
Zerg Calls Win Against Jennings ‘Chaos’
Zerg, a real estate agent from California, made Jeopardy! history when she ended Jennings’ record-breaking streak. “I was completely unprepared for that event happening,” Zerg said in a 2019 interview with The New York Post.
“I never thought beyond just trying to stay in the game, then once Ken lost I was completely unprepared for the tumult, the attitude of the other players,” she continued.
“When you’re in the [Jeopardy!] contestant pool they keep you all together … and I wasn’t prepared for the way the energy completely changed. It went from all these people going, ‘Oh God, I have to play Ken Jennings’ to ‘He’s gone! He’s gone! Now I can win!’ and it was chaos—just people having a party.”
She Reveals ‘No One Wanted To Talk To’ Jennings
She even shared that the other contestants were so intimidated by Jennings that they wouldn’t even sit with him at lunch.
“I was watching Ken sitting there by himself and everyone else was in a knot on the other side of the room,” Zerg said of her competitor. “No one wanted to talk to him, and I thought, ‘This is silly.’”
Zerg was ready to start a streak of her own after getting Jennings out of the way, but she sadly lost her very next game. “[Winning against Jennings] was an overwhelming experience and if it had been a normal situation I think I would have been OK,” she explained. “But I just simply lost concentration and couldn’t pull it together.”
The City Both Former Contestants Call Home
Memorable moments on the game show aren’t the only thing Jennings and Zerg share. Today, Zerg lives in Seattle—the same city Jennings calls home.
The now-host of the game show was born in the area and, after moving around a lot as a child and living in Utah for a bit, settled back in Seattle with his wife and children. Jennings commutes to the Jeopardy! set in Los Angeles from his Seattle home.
Zerg might not still be involved with the game show, but she did share that she still watches Jeopardy!. It seems unlikely that Jennings and Zerg run into each other in the city, but if they did, these two well-known Jeopardy! contestants would have plenty to talk about!