Ken Jennings’ Net Worth: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Ken Jennings

Three of the most successful competitors to ever compete on Jeopardy!, are returning to the game show for The Greatest of All Time Championship round beginning on January 7, and it would not be complete without one of the biggest series’ stars, Ken Jennings.

Kicking off Tuesday night at 8 p.m., and hosted by perennial host Alex Trebek, Jennings will play against James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter will compete for the grand prize of $1 million and the illustrious title of being the Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time winner.

Of course, competing on TV game shows is not the only source of income for Jennings, 45, who worked as a computer scientist before becoming a household name. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his estimated worth is around $4 million.

Here’s what you need to know about Jennings’s overall net worth in 2020:

1. Jennings Took Home A Grand Total of $3,370,700 During His Run On ‘Jeopardy’

Even with Holzhauer’s incredible winning streak in 2019, he lost before surpassing the great Jennings’ grand total. But Holzhauer came incredibly close. He was $58,484 short of stealing the winningest Jeopardy! champion title from Jennings, something he could once again threaten to steal during this upcoming showdown. The professional gambler’s current win total stands at $2,712,216.

But he wouldn’t be stealing it from Jennings, who racked up his grand total during his impressive 74-win game streak. The person who holds the record for winning the most money during his run on Jeopardy! is Rutter, who earned over $4,688,436 during his win-streak on the game show.

2. Jennings Is A New York Times Best-Selling Author

Following his historic run on Jeopardy!, Jenning authored the book, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, which became a New York Times best-seller in 2006. A graduate of Brigham Young University, he also authored an entire book series for a younger crowd entitled Ken Jennings: Junior Genius Guides. Each book covers a different major topic of studies such as geography, Greek myths, U.S. Presidents, and more.

In 2008, he published Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days, which offers readers a year’s worth of quiz questions and trivia knowledge.

In September 2011, the self-admitted “map nerd” published a follow up to his 2006 best-seller entitled Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks, and in May 2018, Jennings published Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture.

3. Before ‘Jeopardy!,’ Jennings Never Thought He Could Afford To Buy A House In Seattle

Ken Jennings

Jennings is completely open about being on the popular trivia game show completely changed his life for him and wife Mindy, and their two kids.

In 2016, Jennings told Jeopardy Buzz, “Well, you know it’s some crazy windfall (to win) like that when you’re 30. You’re like, ‘I don’t even know – what do I do with this [money]?” So I had a lot of it stocked away for kids’ college or for retirement. You know, we moved back to Seattle, which was great. I was from here, but I never thought we could afford a house in Seattle.”

His winnings on Jeopardy! has also afforded him to become a full-time writer and work from home, which he said has made him a better father. “I get to see the kids more,” Jennings explained. “I’m here when they get home from school and I give them their peanut butter on celery, and ask them what they did today. So I feel like a better dad, basically. My office is right by the door and they just run right in. They’ve still got their backpacks on, [calling,] ‘Hey, Dad!’ I’m their first call. And that’s worth more than all of the winnings right there.”

4. Jennings Has Made Memorable Appearances On Other Major TV Shows, Including ‘Sesame Street’

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Jennings received the honor to guest-star on Sesame Street, a moment Jennings described as surreal. “The ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’ moment was when I was on Sesame Street,” Jennings revealed to Jeopardy Buzz. “I got to go on, and me and Grover were talking about how you’ve gotta eat fresh fruits and vegetables. And I was a Sesame Street kid! So just… you know, hanging out in Mr. Hooper’s store, looking at all the boxes on the shelves… I got to come up out of Oscar’s trash can. I was like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’ Jeopardy!’s still my favorite show, but Sesame Street – that’s pretty cool, too.”

The best-selling author also appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2014, Are You Smarter Than 5th Grader, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show With Dave Letterman, where he helped deliver the “Top 10 List.”

5. Jennings Hosts A Bi-Weekly Podcast Called ‘Omnibus’

In a 2018 interview with Seattle Refined Jennings said, “Me and my friend John Roderick, a beloved local Seattle musician do a podcast twice a week called Omnibus. We are assembling an encyclopedic collection of all of human history and culture as a time capsule for the apocalypse.”

Throughout Jennings and Roderick’s informative bi-weekly podcast, their goal is to compile a time capsule for strange-but-true stories for future generations. Each podcast runs about an hour-long, and going into 2020, they’ve recorded over 220 episodes thus far.

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