LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The longest winning streak in television game show history ended on Tuesday when “Jeopardy!” champion Ken Jennings lost after he collected more than $2.5 million in 74 victories.
Jennings walked away with $2,520,700 in cash, in what the syndicated TV show’s distributors said was a record for the most money ever won on a television game show, as well as the most victories.
The 30-year-old software engineer from Salt Lake City started his winning streak in June, fielding questions on everything from Shakespeare to hip-hop music in an impressive run that made him a household name and boosted “Jeopardy!” audience ratings by 22 percent over the same period last year.
He was brought down by what seemed a relatively easy question: Which U.S. company’s white-collar employees mostly worked only four months a year?
Asked Jennings answered FedEx. His opponent, California realtor Nancy Zerg, gave the correct answer — tax preparer and financial services company H&R Block.
Some commentators noted Jennings’ losing episode was broadcast at the end of the key November “sweeps,” when U.S. networks roll out their best shows to boost audience ratings that are used to set advertising rates.
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