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Pastimes : Ken Jennings, "Jeopardy!" Extraordinaire

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To: ~digs who wrote (36)12/1/2004 1:18:17 AM
From: ~digs  Read Replies (1) of 56
Key Moments in the Jennings Juggernaut ;

JUNE 2: First appearance on Jeopardy! Only led fellow challenger Julia Lazarus $20,000-$18,600 going into Final Jeopardy! before winning.

JUNE 7, 28, OCT. 23: Fewest correct responses in a winning game by Jennings (26).

JUNE 10: Jennings wins $50,000 and tops the series' all-time money-winning record with $231,000.

JUNE 11: Jennings breaks record of Washington, D.C., writer Tom Walsh by becoming the show's first ever eight-game winner.

JUNE 21: Trailed midway through Double Jeopardy! to Michigan high school teacher and TV quiz bowl host Matt Ottinger before nailing the last eight answers and Final Jeopardy! to defeat Ottinger for his 14th straight win.

JUNE 25: In what may have been the greatest thriller finish in "Jeopardy!" history, Michael Cudahy of Los Angeles pushes Jennings to Final Jeopardy! Jennings wins his 18th game with $48,000 but Cudahy's $44,400 is a record in the game's 40-year history for a losing contestant. Unfortunately, for Cudahy, he leaves with only the $2,000 runner-up prize.

JULY 2: Challenger Mary Ann Eitler nails a Daily Double to go ahead of Jennings with 11 answers remaining but Jennings nails 10 of the last 11 in Double Jeopardy! to freeze out Eitler and win his 23rd straight.

JULY 12, 21: Jennings sets and ties the game's all-time record for consecutive correct questions (16).

JULY 13: Jennings becomes the series' first regular season millionaire. His 30th victory gives him $1,004,960.

JULY 20, 23: Jennings sets and ties the game's record for numbers of correct questions in a single game (45).

JULY 20: Jennings becomes the King of Syndicated Game Shows. He wins $29,200 for his 35th straight victory. His cumulative total of $1,164,660 makes Jennings the all-time money-winner in the history of syndicated television, topping former "Jeopardy!" Million $ Masters champion Brad Rutter's $1,155,200.

JULY 23: Biggest day of money records for Jennings. He sets the game's all-time single-day mark of $75,000 (topping Minnesotan Brian Weikle's $52,000), the all-time record of $51,400 at the end of Double Jeopardy! and the record margin of victory ($73,200). Jennings also busts the game's all-time adjusted five-day record with $221,200 (eclipsing New York Police Lt. Frank Spangenberg's adjusted-for-inflation mark of $205,194). The show goes on its annual six-week summer hiatus.

SEPT. 7: Jennings trails challenger Rich Hartz going into Double Jeopardy! and only manages to defeat Hartz by $2,499 to become television's second 40-game winner in history.

SEPT. 8: Jennings scores the game's highest-ever finish at the end of the opening Jeopardy! round, $16,400.

SEPT. 13: Jennings wins $45,000 for his 44th victory to break "Tic Tac Dough" legend Thom McKee's record of 43 consecutive wins on a television game show, a record held for 24 years. McKee e-mails congratulations to Jennings.

SEPT. 16: Jennings wins his 47th straight game and tops McKee's other record of 46 days on a single game show.

OCT. 4: A Jennings streak is snapped. Toxicologist Jeff Suchard takes Jennings to a thrilling finish before losing and snaps Jennings' record of 26 consecutive games mathematically locking up victory before Final Jeopardy!

OCT. 29: Jennings breaks another mark: 10 consecutive days with correct Final Jeopardy! questions.

NOV. 3: Jennings breaks television's all-time single-game winnings record with $2,197,000 (topping the $2.18 million of Dr. Kevin Olmstead on ABC's "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in April 2001). He needed 66 wins to do what Olmstead accomplished in one night.

NOV. 4: Jennings becomes television's overall top winner in history with $2,247,000 (topping Olmstead's combined total of $2,205,900 on "Millionaire" and "Jeopardy!").

NOV. 9: For the first time ever, Jennings is in third place after the Jeopardy! round and early in Double Jeopardy! Challengers Jeff Hoppes and Dave Oosterhuis offer the strongest one-two punch yet against Jennings but the phenom breaks his own record by nailing his last 18 attempts in Double Jeopardy! to lock up his 70th consecutive win.

NOV. 24: Jennings scores another milestone: his 2,500th correct question.

NOV. 29: Jennings scores his 74th consecutive victory and eclipses $2.5 million in winnings.

NOV. 30: Jennings is defeated by Ventura, Cal., real estate agent Nancy Zerg.
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