Ken Jennings’ Kids & Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

ken jennings kids family

Getty Learn about Ken Jennings' kids and family.

Since winning a fortune on Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings has crafted a new career as an author, podcaster, social media influencer, and spinner of homespun anecdote. Many of those homespun anecdotes involve his two kids.

Ken is the father of a boy and a girl with his wife, Mindy Jennings, who is his college sweetheart and features in his stories. He has also spoken a lot about his family of origin, discussing his childhood with his attorney father overseas.

Ken’s accomplishments on the game show stage are legendary. He clocked in with 74 Jeopardy victories, netting his family $2.52 million. Since then, he’s become the author of multiple books and a blog on which he wrote things like this (in 2010), “Dylan wanted a Lego-themed birthday party this year, which meant no outsourcing the party planning to a local karate dojo, movie theater, go-cart track, or robot-infested pizza cave.”

Today, Ken is active on Twitter and Facebook. Jennings is squaring off against Brad Rutter and James Holzhauer, the other two biggest winners in Jeopardy! history. They “return to the stage for a showdown to decide – once and for all – who is the greatest of all time,” the show says, starting on January 7, 2020.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Jennings Has Children Dylan & Caitlyn With Mindy

Ken Jennings has a blog where he shares information about his Jeopardy! wins and family. “Ken lives in Seattle with his wife Mindy, his son Dylan and daughter Caitlin, and a small, excitable dog named Chance,” he wrote.

How old are the kids now? One’s a teen, and one’s a tween. In 2018, he said that his kids were then ages 15 and 11. He also shares details of his family on Twitter.

Ken told Life Hacker that the kids were planned but his life since Jeopardy was a “total free-for-all.”

“The kids were planned,” he said to the site. “(Well, the conceptions were planned. Everything since then has been a total free-for-all.) My career change has been the biggest surprise. I was a perfectly happy suburban dad and computer programmer back in 2004, the year I turned thirty. I was not expecting to win on Jeopardy! for six months straight and start a new career as a writer and professional know-it-all.”

2. Ken’s Wife Is His College Sweetheart

According to his IMDB profile, Ken has been married to Mindy Boam Jennings since September 16, 2000.

Ken and his wife were college sweethearts. He provides some bio on his blog, saying he attended =”the University of Washington and transferred to Brigham Young University in 1996 after a two-year Mormon mission in Madrid, Spain. At BYU, he double-majored in English and computer science, and graduated in 2000 alongside his fiancée Mindy, whom he married that fall,” the blog says.

According to the blog, “Ken was working as a software engineer for a Salt Lake City health care staffing company in 2004 when he got the phone call telling him that his contestant audition had been successful and he would appear on Jeopardy! that June.”

3. Ken Spent a Lot of His Childhood in Korea & Singapore Due to the Career of His Lawyer Dad

Ken wrote on his blog that he was “was born in 1974 just outside Seattle, Washington, but grew up overseas. His family spent fifteen years in Korea and Singapore, where his father worked as an attorney.”

However, this interesting childhood probably helped him become a Jeopardy! champ. “His only lifeline to American pop culture during those years was TV on the Armed Forces Network, where he watched Jeopardy! religiously after school every afternoon,” he wrote.

4. Ken Shared Homespun Anecdotes About His Wife & Kids

Ken shares homespun anecdotes about Mindy and the kids a lot. “Mindy did most of the planning, but I pitched in by building these decorations out of cardboard boxes and round cream-cheese containers. They were inspired by the giant Lego bricks visible at the end of Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits. Honey I shrunk the Jennings!!!” he wrote of his son’s aforementioned Lego-themed birthday party.

One entry on his blog, from 2009, was titled, “Bewildering Conversations with a Six-Year-Old.” Ken explained, “I have to leave for the airport in a few minutes for New York and a game show thing I’m not sure if I’m allowed to mention. But before I go: here’s a Bewildering Conversation from last week that I didn’t want to forget.”

He then recounted this conversation,

“Me (watering plants): Hey Mindy, all these verbena we planted are totally dying.
Mindy: Maybe we should have had sprinklers put in up there.
Me: I’ve been watering them by hand every day. Whatever it is, it isn’t water.
(Long pause, while Dylan stares, fascinated now, at my watering can. Finally:)
Dylan: Maybe it’s lemonade.”

His blog is full of similar anecdotes involving the children and Mindy. You can read it here.

To Life Hacker, Ken described his life as family-centered and carpooling heavy. “With two kids and two of us and two pretty flexible work schedules, we can cover most of the bases ourselves. But the driving! Even with just two kids, we are driving somebody somewhere all the time,” he told the site.

On Twitter, Ken calls himself “Jeopardy! fixture of yesteryear. Author of PLANET FUNNY ( and a bunch of other stuff. OMNIBUS co-founder (”

5. Ken Says His Parents Were the Types to Leave Reference Books Around

Ken clearly hails from an intelligent family. “His family lived in the Seattle area until Ken was in first grade, when Jennings’s father, a lawyer, moved them to Seoul,” The Week explained.

They were supposed to be there for two years but ended up being there for 11, with Ken graduating from Seoul Foreign School. “Growing up abroad, Jennings became obsessed with any artifacts of American culture that would make their way into Seoul,” the site explains, mentioning how Ken would try to copy cassette tapes.

That article describes Ken’s parents as the “type of people who kept reference books around the house, smart folks who were told by their friends they would create a super race if they reproduced.”

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