Will BYU grad Ken Jennings win ‘Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time’ tonight?
‘Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time’ — a trivia event of Olympic proportions that has on average drawn nearly 15 million viewers per episode — could end tonight
SALT LAKE CITY — “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” — a trivia event of Olympic proportions that has on average drawn nearly 15 million viewers per episode — could end tonight.
The race between three “Jeopardy!” legends to win three matches (one match equals two regular “Jeopardy! games) first began a week ago. Brad Rutter, the contestant who’s won the most money in the game show’s history, hasn’t won a game — yet.
James Holzhauer, the daring wagerer who holds a single-game record of $131,127, has won one game. Ken Jennings, the BYU grad who 15 years ago had a remarkable 74-game winning streak, has had two victories.
And if Jennings wins tonight, he’ll win a million dollars and be crowned the “Greatest of All Time.”
Like an exciting NBA finals series, though, the tournament has the potential to go to a Game 7, which would air Friday, Jan. 17. But that outcome would involve Rutter staging a comeback. So far, the “Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time” tournament has been a tight competition between Jennings and Holzhauer. And it’s been a ratings juggernaut.
Each episode of “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” has outdrawn the first four games of the 2019 NBA Finals and the first five games of the 2019 World Series, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The first match — which went to Jennings — drew 14.42 million viewers. The second match — which Holzhauer dominated — brought in 14.87 viewers. Round 3 — which Jennings secured — attracted a staggering 15.55 million viewers.
All three games in the competition have included bold wagers and incredibly quick thinking. Jennings, especially, seems to thrive on the word-play questions, which has been a strength to him throughout the tournament. And somehow, even under all of the pressure, the contestants still find time to be witty.
In game 3, the Final Jeopardy question asked for two foreign-born film directors who have won the best director Osar twice but have never won best picture (the answer was Alfonso Cuaron and Ang Lee).
None of the contestants knew the answer, but Holzhauer used the question as an opportunity to pay tribute to 79-year-old Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Having jokingly begun writing “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak’s name, Holzhauer crossed it out and wrote “Who is the Ghost? (Greatest Host of Syndicated TV) Alex Trebek.”
All of that in just 30 seconds.
Jennings also showed his appreciation for Trebek during game 1, telling the host, “It’s just a pleasure to pick up the buzzer, to see the set, to hear your voice — it really is kind of a fun, nostalgic rush. I do feel like I’m back home.”
The matchup between Holzhauer, Jennings and Rutter is a once-in-a-lifetime event. But no matter who wins the tournament, all three will still go down in the books as some of the greatest players to grace “Jeopardy!”
Game 4 of “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” airs on ABC on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. MST.