All hail Trivia King Ken Jennings! Today is the Jeopardy! rock star’s 37th birthday. You probably already know that Jennings is the all-time winningest Jeopardy! champion (with a 74-game streak in 2004) and that he currently holds the record for most money won on American game shows ($3,172,700) and that he and Brad Ruttner were beaten by Watson, the game-playing supercomputer in the Jeopardy! IBM Challenge.
What you may not know is that Jennings is hilarious, as evidenced by his Twitter stream (@KenJennings) and blog (Confessions of a Trivial Mind), as well as a long-running Mental Floss Magazine column titled “Six Degrees of Ken Jennings,” wherein the knower of all things obscure connected two seemingly disparate things in exactly six moves. It’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, only harder.
Since his initial run on Jeopardy!, Jennings has become a spokesman for all sorts of things; product endorsements have included FedEx, Microsoft Encarta, Allstate, Cingular, and H&R Block. He has also authored Brainiac, an exploration of the trivia gaming subculture, and Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days, the largest single collection of trivia questions ever produced. His upcoming Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird Worlds of Geography Wonks is an in-depth look at the map-obsessed. (No release date is currently set, though the book is available for preorder.) If you want to play against the trivia champ, you’ll probably have to settle for a round of Can You Beat Ken?
Happy birthday, Ken! Sexy geeks everywhere hope you have a good one. :)