Pop Culture

'Jeopardy' champion rolls on

“Jeopardy!” master Ken Jennings has advanced his winning streak to 41, picking up another $27,200 and bringing his total money won to $1,380,661.

The Salt Lake City software engineer became an unlikely TV star this summer when he began mowing down opponents on the quiz show. He won 38 straight games before the show went on hiatus in late July. The new season began Monday.

Jennings two rivals never stood a chance.

On Wednesday's show, Jennings revealed he is a lifelong, serious Etch A Sketch devotee.

Of the top eight single-day winners, “Ken has seven of the eight positions,” said host Alex Trebek, “so he is a force to be reckoned with.”

Final Jeopardy was, “In the ’20s, the alleged spirit powers of Margery caused a rift between these two men: a magician and a writer.”

The correct answer: Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jennings incorrectly guessed: “Houdini and Fitzgerald.”

“Jeopardy!” limited its champions to five appearances before changing its rules a year ago, allowing a winner to keep competing until being beaten.

Nobody expected the Jennings juggernaut. The 30-year-old has displayed a quick finger on the buzzer that frequently freezes out his opponents and an impressively broad array of knowledge.

“Jeopardy!” will air two more weeks of original episodes, which began taping in August, before leaving on another hiatus for a special tournament.

If Jennings keeps winning, he’ll keep coming back. Game spokesman Jeff Ritter said there’s been no discussion of a cutoff point, or another change in the rules, if Jennings’ streak continues.

Previous records: Tom Walsh of Washington won $184,900 over seven days last winter. Brad Rutter of Lancaster, Pa., earned a total of $1,155,102 after winning a Million Dollar Masters Tournament.

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