Ken Jennings - Mormonism, The Mormon Church, Beliefs, & Religion (2022)

Ken Jennings is the record-holder for the most American television quiz show winnings. He is the second highest-earning contestant on Jeopardy! He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes casually called the Mormon Church).

Kenneth Wayne "Ken" Jennings III was born May 23, 1974, in Edmonds, Washington. Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea (1981–1992) and Singapore (1992–1996), where his father worked for an international law firm and then as Asia Pacific Division Counsel of Oracle Corporation. He mentions on his website that he watched Jeopardy! every afternoon after school on the Armed Forces Network. Jennings attended the University of Washington during his freshman year of college and then graduated with a degree in Computer Science and English from Brigham Young University, where he played on the school's quizbowl team for three and a half years. He graduated from Seoul Foreign School where he completed an International Baccalaureate diploma, and achieved honors at Brigham Young. He served a two-year mission for the Church in Madrid, Spain from 1993 to 1995.

Of his mission, he said “I had the best time on my mission. . . . It was one of those experiences that’s so dense and intense that you can’t really believe how much happened in such a short time. Even the hard or dull times have acquired a rosy, nostalgic glow in hindsight, just because of how valuable the whole experience was to me.” He added, "What I took home from my mission was an increased love for and testimony of the Book of Mormon. I also find it harder to take the Book of Mormon for granted after watching how quickly it can surprise and change the lives of people.”[1]

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He now lives in Seattle, Washington, and is married to the former Mindy Boam. They have two children.


  • 1 Jeopardy!
  • 2 Hosting Jeopardy!
  • 3 Bestselling Author
  • 4 Bucket List


During his Jeopardy! winning streak, Jennings was a software engineer for CHG Healthcare, a healthcare-placement firm in Salt Lake City, Utah. He writes questions for, edits the literature and mythology categories of questions of, and is otherwise active in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), a quiz bowl organization; in particular, he moderated (i.e., read questions) at the 2005, 2006, and 2009 NAQT National High School Tournaments in Chicago.

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Jennings holds the record for the longest winning streak on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy! and, as of October 10, 2008, once again became the all-time leading money winner on American game shows. [2] In 2004, he won 74 Jeopardy! games before he was defeated on his 75th appearance. The length of Jennings's Jeopardy! run (by airing) totaled 182 calendar days, including his first and last appearances. The TV show's ratings increased considerably during this run. His total earnings on Jeopardy! were US $3,022,700. Jennings has appeared on other TV quiz shows, adding to his earnings and making him the record holder, at a total of US $3,623,414.29. He has also been a guest on various talk shows.

Noted on his web page:

The streak made Ken Jennings a 2004 TV folk hero, and he appeared as a guest on shows from The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman to Live with Regis and Kelly and Sesame Street. Barbara Walters named him one of the ten most fascinating people of the year. The Christian Science Monitor called him "the king of Trivia Nation" and Slate magazine dubbed him "the Michael Jordan of trivia, the Seabiscuit of geekdom." ESPN: The Magazine called him "smarmy (and) punchable," with "the personality of a hall monitor," thus continuing America's long national struggle between jocks and nerds.[3]

When asked what he intended to do with his streak winnings, Jennings said that he intended to tithe ten percent to his church, donate to public television and National Public Radio, go on a trip to Europe, and invest the rest for his family. H&R Block offered Jennings free tax planning and financial services for the rest of his life.[4]

Jennings’ success has resulted in him being a popular individual amongst corporations looking for public endorsers. He has appeared for Microsoft, Cingular Wireless, Allstate Insurance, and others.

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Jennings appeared on Jeopardy! again in February 2011. An IBM computing system named “Watson” competed against the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants—Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. "Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, was built by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence." [5] Watson won the competition, winning $1 million for two charities. Jennings placed second and Rutter third, winning $300,000 and $200,000 respectively. Jennings and Rutter donated half of their winnings to charity.

Jennings returned to Jeopardy! in May 2014 to participate in the Battle of the Decades. He finished in second place behind Brad Rutter and won $100,000. That brought his winnings from Jeopardy! to $3,270,700.

Jennings revealed a new board game in 2019 that he and Richard Garfield, creator of the fantasy card game "Magic: The Gathering," collaborated on. To create the game they launched a Kickstarter goal of $10,000, which they exceeded. The game, "Half Truth," is a “party game that makes you feel smart.” The game includes 500 trivia questions, each of which includes six potential answers — but only three are correct.[6]

In January 2020, Jennings was one of three Jeopardy! champions in the Jeopardy! The Greatest Player of All Time competition. Jennings won the required three hour-long matches first, which gave him the title of greatest player of all time and made him the recipient of $1 million, elevating his overall winnings to $4.4 million.[7]

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In his [July 2020] memoir, Trebek wrote that he got to know Jennings better than most contestants. Jennings had a legendary 75-game “Jeopardy!” run in 2004 — meaning Trebek interacted with him significantly more than most contestants.
Trebek admitted he was a little emotional when a question about H&R Block finally dethroned the 30-year-old software engineer from Salt Lake City.
“I had tears in my eyes,” he wrote. “It just all happened so quickly. Ken lost. … The show ended. I remember thinking, ‘Ken’s gone. My buddy. My pal. This was getting to be ‘The Ken and Alex Show.’”[8]

Hosting Jeopardy!

On November 23, 2020, the "Jeopardy!" show announced that Jennings would be the first interim host of the show following host Alex Trebek's passing.[9] Jennings had joined the Jeopardy! show's current season as consulting producer. His first run as interim host lasted for six weeks beginning in February 2021.[10] in November 2021, he returned a second time. "Compared to the first time around, he seemed largely at ease as he bantered with the contestants, read the clues aloud and kept the game moving along at a good pace. And during that game, there was at least one clue that had an interesting connection to Jennings. During the second round of the game, a contestant landed on the following Daily Double clue under the category “National Historic Landmarks”: “Temple Square in this state capital was designated a landmark in 1964. The answer — Salt Lake City — is where Jennings lived and worked as a software engineer when he had his legendary 74-game winning streak in 2004.”[11]

According to USA Today, Jennings will host “Jeopardy!” for the next three weeks, rotating the position with Mayim Bialik for the foreseeable future.[12] On July 27, 2022, Jeopardy! announced that Jennings and Bialik will continue as permanent hosts.[13]

Bestselling Author

Jennings has become a bestselling author with books that include: Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, published in 2006; Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days, a compilation of trivia questions - with 3 categories and about 20 questions per day of the year; Maphead, about his lifelong love of geography; Because I Said So!, debunking parenting cliches; Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture, which explores how everything modern life has to be funny. He is also the author of the series Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides.[14]

Jennings also has had a column in Mental Floss magazine called "Six Degrees of Ken Jennings", in which readers submit two wildly different things and he has to connect them in exactly six moves, much in the same vein as the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game.

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Bucket List

“I’m aware that I have a very weird and specific bucket list, but this was a biggie: I get to play on the next season of ‘Pyramid!’” Jennings tweeted in June 2022. Jennings competed in the episode of The $10,000 Pyramid that aired on July 24.[15] As the celebrity player, he helped a contestant win $50,000. Jennings’ and his contestant's Winners’ Circle finish was the second-fastest in “The $100,000 Pyramid” history.


What religion is Jeopardy Ken Jennings? ›

Jennings is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What are the beliefs of the LDS Church? ›

The first article of faith for the Latter-day Saints reads, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” Latter-day Saints believe God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate personages, but one in will and purpose—not literally the same being or ...

What do Mormons believe about other religions? ›

Mormons do not believe that they are the only people inspired by God and so have a tolerant attitude to other faiths. Although Mormons are certain that their Church teaches the true doctrines of salvation, they don't see it as the only teacher of truth.

What is Jennings IQ? ›

Ken Jennings allegedly has an IQ of 175, which is very high, at the genius level of human intelligence.

What is Mayim Bialik IQ? ›

Additionally, the actress is fully fluent in English and Hebrew and knows how to play the piano, guitar, and trumpet. Mayim Bialik's IQ was never confirmed, but it is widely believed that it falls somewhere between 150-163.

How is Mormon different from Christianity? ›

With respect to scripture, Mormons differ from traditional Christian groups in that they accept extra books in their canon. In addition to the King James Version of the Bible, they add the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

How is LDS different from Christianity? ›

Though the label “Christian” is often associated with particular creedal claims which the Church does not adopt, Latter-day Saints use it to express their belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints believe Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

Who do Mormons think Jesus is? ›

What Do We Believe About Christ? We believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh (John 3:16). We accept the prophetic declarations in the Old Testament that refer directly and powerfully to the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of all humankind.

How do Mormons view death? ›

While there are differing degrees of orthodoxy within the Mormon faith, Mormons commonly believe that death is the separation of the soul from the body. Many Mormons believe that upon death the soul is judged and, based on the soul's general goodness, is sent to either spirit paradise or spirit prison.

What do Mormons believe about heaven? ›

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that all people dwelt with God before this life and that every individual has the opportunity to dwell with God after this life in a state of eternal joy.

What religion is most similar to Mormonism? ›

Similarities. Mormonism and Islam each believe in a life after death: belief in the Last Judgment and an Afterlife is one of the Six Articles of Belief of Islam; it also forms an essential element of the Mormon belief system.

What is Albert Einstein's IQ? ›

What was Albert Einstein's IQ? Though some sources estimate theoretical physicist Albert Einstein's IQ was around 160, there is no indication he ever had his IQ tested, according to

Who has the highest IQ ever? ›

Marilyn Vos Savant (IQ - 228)

Louis, Missouri in 1946 when Marilyn Vos Savant was 10 years old, in an adult level Stanford-Binet Test found out that her IQ is 228. Due to this record-breaking result, her name was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Who has the highest IQ in the world? ›

Marilyan vos Savant. Vos Savant has one of the world's highest IQs (228), and she is known as the smartest person in the comment. Her name is recorded in the Guinness World Record for smarts.

What is Bill Gates IQ? ›

Stephen Hawking's IQ – How Yours Compares to His and Other Famous Persons' IQ
Name (First/Last)DescriptionIQ (SB)
Benjamin FranklinWriter, scientist & politician160
Benjamin NetanyahuIsraeli Prime Minister180
Bill GatesCEO, Microsoft160
Bill (William) Jefferson ClintonPresident137
111 more rows

Does Ashton Kutcher have a high IQ? ›

Ashton Kutcher might have played our favorite airhead on That '70s Show, but he has a reported IQ of 160 - the same as Stephen Hawking.

What is Tom Cruise IQ? ›

"We would give them an IQ test, and he just about made the cut. The cutoff is 110, and he scored exactly 110." It's been rumored that Cruise considered entering the priesthood, but he doesn't it remember it that way.

What do Mormons believe about having children? ›

From a young age, Mormon children are given responsibilities such as household duties and the tending of younger siblings. Mothers play a key role in their children's religious education, and parents who do not rear their children strictly according to Mormon gospel are condemned.

Which version of the Bible do Mormons use? ›

Since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has used the King James Version of the Bible for English-speaking members. The Bible, as it has been transmitted over the centuries, has suffered the loss of many plain and precious parts.

Do Mormons consider themselves Christians? ›

Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians don't recognize Mormonism as an official denomination. Mormons believe in the crucifixion, resurrection and divinity of Jesus Christ. Followers claim that God sent more prophets after Jesus's death.

Is the Book of Mormon mentioned in the Bible? ›

Ask a student to read 2 Nephi 3:11–12. (It may be helpful to clarify that these verses are part of a prophecy by Joseph of Egypt. In these verses Joseph mentioned two books—the book written by the descendants of Joseph is the Book of Mormon, and the book written by the descendants of Judah is the Bible.)

Do Mormons use the Bible? ›

Mormons use the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible in teaching and study. They believe that the Book of Mormon tells the story of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the American Continent, including a visit by the risen Jesus to the people of the New World.

Do Mormons celebrate Christmas? ›

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Christmas season is a special time to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Every year, Latter-day Saints gather with family and friends and recall the tender scene of “the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

What is forbidden in Mormonism? ›

Alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and drugs

These are all specifically banned in the Word of Wisdom, except for drugs. The prophets have made it clear that drugs, other than for medical use, are also banned. Mormons are also strongly discouraged from drinking soft drinks containing caffeine.

Do Mormons believe that God was once a man? ›

The term Heavenly Parents is used to refer collectively to the divine partnership of Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. Joseph Smith taught that God was once a man on another planet before being exalted to Godhood.

Do Mormons watch TV? ›

While on their mission, missionaries can call home only on Christmas and Mother's Day; they must be with their missionary companion 24 hours a day; they cannot come within arm's length of the opposite sex; they cannot watch television or films; and they are only allowed to listen to music and read books that are of a ...

Do Mormons get cremated? ›

That said, the Mormon faith does not prohibit cremation, it simply discourages it, and cremation is not seen as a hindrance to the ultimate resurrection of the body. Mormons who have been cremated can still receive a Mormon funeral service as well.

Can a woman wear pants to a Mormon funeral? ›

What should I wear to a Mormon funeral? It's appropriate to dress in formal attire at a Mormon funeral. For men, this usually means a suit and tie, and for women, a conservative dress, skirt and blouse, or suit and trousers. Women should make sure to cover their knees and shoulders.

What do Mormons get buried in? ›

Because the Mormon Church places high value on the teaching that the body and soul will be reunited, burial in a casket is preferred, though cremation is not forbidden. A brief graveside service led by a Melchizedek priesthood holder (or high priest) includes prayer and petitions.

Who goes to heaven in Mormonism? ›

People who die before the age of 8, when Mormons are baptized, also go to the celestial kingdom. The next most desirable heaven is called the terrestrial kingdom, which holds all those who don't fully accept Jesus on Earth, but who are basically good people and accept him after death.

What is the main goal of the Mormon faith? ›

Mormons believe that one purpose of earthly life is to learn to choose good over evil. In this process, people inevitably make mistakes, becoming unworthy to return to the presence of God. Mormons believe that Jesus paid for the sins of the world and that all people can be saved through his atonement.

Do you get your own planet in Mormonism? ›

SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon Church is pushing back against the notion that members of the faith are taught they'll get their own planet in the afterlife, a misconception popularized in pop culture most recently by the Broadway show "The Book of Mormon."

Can Mormons get divorced? ›

If a husband and wife are sealed together in the temple, they can be together on into the celestial kingdom. However, the church does have a process for annulment and sees divorce as an unfortunately necessary evil.

What is the difference between Amish and Mormon? ›

A major difference in the two subcultures that seems to have resulted from their distinctive theological doctrines is that the Amish have developed a closed and introverted society, whereas the Mormons have evolved an open and extroverted society in which a real expansion and new members are desired.

Do Mormons celebrate Thanksgiving? ›

Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live outside of the United States and will not celebrate the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Do Jeopardy winners have to pay taxes? ›

Holzhauer's total "Jeopardy!" winnings will put him in the highest federal income tax bracket for 2019, which means he'll pay tax on at least a portion of his winnings at a 37% rate. As a result, he'll likely have to pay around $942,000 of his winnings to the IRS.

How much does Ken Jennings earn as host of Jeopardy? ›

Ken Jennings' salary explored

During his winning streak, Jennings earned $2.52 million. “ After almost 40 years of hosting Jeopardy, Alex Trebek was earning $10m a year as a salary on the show, but it's currently unconfirmed how much Ken is earning as a guest host.

What is the salary of the host of Jeopardy? ›

But accordion to a recent report from The New York Post, guest hosts of Jeopardy! were paid a hefty salary. Per the US Senate financial disclosure filings, Dr. Oz, 61, was paid a salary of $269,000 for guest-hosting the game show.

Who is the biggest winner in Jeopardy history? ›

Ken Jennings is one of the most well-known high rollers from the ABC series. The Washington-born author is actually the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time. In addition to winning $2,520,700 during his initial 74-show run on Jeopardy!, he nearly doubled that number in numerous special tournaments.

How many people have won $1000000 on Deal or no deal? ›

Two contestants have won $1,000,000, both of which happened during the Million Dollar Mission. Jessica Robinson played her game on September 1, 2008, with five $1,000,000 cases and played the game all the way to the end, turning down a final offer of $561,000 and refusing to swap her case (#4) to win the top prize.

What happens when you win a car on The Price Is Right? ›

The Price Is Right winners receive a 1099G to ensure they report all of your winnings are reported as extra income. That can accidentally bump you into a new tax bracket, or benefit anyone who can legally receive part of your annual income.

What happens if you win a car on a game show? ›

If you win money or prizes on a game show, the winnings are taxable. If you win at least $600, you'll probably get a 1099-MISC tax form from the entity that awarded you the cash prize, and they'll also send a copy to the IRS. Even if you don't get a 1099, you still have to report the value of your winnings.

What is Mayim Bialik salary? ›

The Big Bang Theory

After the show had taken off successfully, Bialik was receiving a salary of $200,000 per episode. This earned her roughly $4.5 million per season. In 2017, though, five of the other cast members took pay cuts of $100,000 each per episode.

How much does Pat Sajak make per episode? ›

That's 48 days per year, $312,500 per workday, and $52,083 per episode.

Do Jeopardy contestants keep their winnings? ›

If you win, you keep all the money you've earned. Not only does the winner earn the title of Jeopardy! Champion for life, but they take home the total amount of money that they finished the episode with.

How do Jeopardy winners get paid? ›

In fact, since 2002, every person who has competed on the show has walked away with some compensation. The winner keeps their score and brings it to the next episode, the second-place contestant walks away with $2,000, and the third-place player gets $1,000.

How much does Mayim Bialik get paid per episode of Jeopardy? ›

With her recurring role, she made roughly $45,000 per episode. Mayim earned $200,000 per episode for most of the midseason, around $4.5 million per season.

What is Drew Carey's salary on Price is Right? ›

He earns $12.5 million per year hosting "The Price is Right." That's enough to make him one of 20 highest-paid TV hosts in the world.

What is the lowest amount won on Jeopardy? ›

What's the lowest dollar amount that someone has ever won a game of Jeopardy! with? In 1993, Darryl Scott won with only $1. Cheng Lor and 1,511 others like this.

Who defeated Ken Jennings? ›

Ken Jennings can go to sleep knowing his all-time "Jeopardy!" streak remains — for now. Matt Amodio lost Monday, ending his 38-show winning streak, the second longest of all time, which netted him $1.5 million. Amodio, a Ph.

What happens if all Jeopardy contestants end with zero? ›

In the finals, contestants who finish Double Jeopardy! with a $0 or negative score on either day do not play Final Jeopardy! that day. Their score for that leg is recorded as $0.


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