Where 8 'Jeopardy!' Legends Are Now (PHOTOS)
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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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
Will his winning streak continue?
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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