Where 8 ‘Jeopardy!’ Legends Are Now (PHOTOS)

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Ken Jennings Crush Jeopardy's Winnings Record
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Brad Rutter

This 41-year-old may not have the name recognition of Jennings, but he does have a higher total, having accumulated $4.7 million on the show between 2000 and 2014. Rutter, who was a record store employee before his Jeopardy! fame, has donated much of his winnings to Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County public library system.

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David Madden

Between his 19-episode run in 2005 and his Tournament of Champions reprise the following year, this 37-year-old won $442,400. Since then, he’s been busy organizing academic competitions — founding the National History Bee and Bowl, the US Geography Olympian, and the International History Olympiad, among others — and spent seven months hiking the length of the East Coast to raise money for veteran families.

Ken Jennings Crush Jeopardy's Winnings Record
Jeopardy Productions

Ken Jennings

This software engineer, who won 74 consecutive games and $2.5 million in 2004, has written multiple books, including Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs, as well as columns in the magazines Parade and Mental Floss.

Last month, the 44-year-old penned a New York Times op-ed on “what Alex Trebek is really like,” calling the host “well-read and well-traveled, the kind of dad with a basement full of old National Geographics. When he pronounces the name of an Italian aria hyper-accurately, or explains that a contestant got George V and George VI confused, he’s not putting on airs. Yes, he really knows that stuff.”

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Julia Collins

Inspired by the media attention following her 20-game winning streak in 2014 — during which she racked up $428,100 — Collins founded the nonprofit organization Girls Like You and Me, which focuses on “smart women who are doing cool stuff.”

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Buzzy Cohen

If you remember such self-satisfied responses as “What is, ‘See you tomorrow, Trebek?’” and “Who is, ‘You aren’t rid of me yet, Trebek?’” then you remember this 34-year-old, who racked up $416,603 in winnings between 2016 and 2017. The Los Angeleno is currently CEO of The Music Diplomat, a TV commercial music supervision company.

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Stephanie Jass

This former history professor — who took home $162,570 between 2012 and 2014 — pleaded guilty in June 2018 to hacking into the accounts of colleagues at Adrian College. The following month, a Michigan judge sentenced her to one year of probation. Jass’ felony will be dismissed if she complies with her probation, and a review is scheduled for this June.

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Jerome Vered

Now 61, Vered won a total of nearly half a million dollars between 1992 and 2005. The writer, who also competed and then worked as a researcher on quiz show Win Ben Stein’s Money, started an all-Jeopardy! champ trivia team in Los Angeles in 2006, and the team is still going strong.

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Arthur Chu

Self-described as a “bi-coastal Chinese-American nerd,” Chu studied game theory before his 12-game run in 2014 and sparked controversy with his rapid-fire “Forrest Bounce” technique. Still, he ended up winning $398,200 on the show. The 35-year-old later became a culture blogger for The Daily Beast, writing in his bio that he “lives with his wife and an indeterminate but alarmingly ever-growing number of cats.”

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Can James Holzhauer be stopped? The 34-year-old sports gambler from Las Vegas became the second-ever Jeopardy! contestant to cross the $1-million threshold during regular-season play with his win on April 23. His hot streak even has Jeopardy! superstar Ken Jennings “gobsmacked.”

“It’s absolutely insane what he’s doing,” Jennings told Wired recently. “Like, I thought I had seen everything on Jeopardy!. And this is something I would have thought was just impossible, these numbers.”

Holzhauer is already among the long-running game show’s pantheon of players, which also includes the former champs you see here, Jennings included. Here are details on these contestants’ Jeopardy! dominance and their lives offscreen.

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