Jeopardy! Champ Nearing A Million - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/12/04-Tyler

Jeopardy! Champ Nearing A Million

He's the Energizer bunny, or maybe the "Terminator" of game shows.

Ken Jennings could be just a day away from becoming a millionaire on "Jeopardy!" Believe it or not, he says he doesn't have a photographic memory, but just a special technique and a lot of luck to be "Jeopardy!" champion for twenty nine days.

Jennings: "When I was growing up, I never missed "Jeopardy!" I came home home from after school and always watched "Jeopardy!"

Ken Jennings has rocked the game show world.  "Unstoppable."  "A genius."  Everybody has an opinion of his run on "Jeopardy!"  Ken says his success is based on knowing a little something about everything.

"People tend to specialize in their own field these days. I'm interested in just about everything, I guess. I tend to remember a lot of stuff," he says.

"See how unassuming he is? He's just so natural." A natural born winner is Betty Jennings great nephew. She and her Lubbock area friends have started the unofficial Ken Jennings fan club.

"[My friends have] been watching him on TV and they say that's the smartest guy [they've] ever seen, and I say that's my great nephew, and they didn't believe me at first," she says.

Today, everyone's a believer.  At over $972,000, he'll shoot for a million on Tuesday and take his place in game show history.

Ken says one trick is to listen to host Alex Trebek carefully.

"When he finishes talking, that's when the buzzer activates. You need to have your answer in your mind already. When Alex gets done reading it, if you are too early, you get locked out. Too late you get beat. There is a narrow sweet spot, it is in a rhythm."

Ken's showing no signs of slowing down and no sign of losing his edge. He knows not everyone's on his side, but that's fine with him.

"I hope plenty of people are [rooting for me]. If you are rooting against me, that's OK."

The "Jeopardy!" episodes airing now were actually taped several months ago. Those involved with the show have a strict agreement not to reveal exactly when Jennings streak comes to an end.

By the way, Ken has a way to go to become the all-time winner on a game show. That record was set on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in 2001, when a contestant walked away with $2.18 million.

Morgan Palmer, reporting.

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