#ThrowbackThursday – Ken Jennings’ Top Performances

#5: October 8, 2004 (Game 53)

Lost in this moment here:

was one of the game’s all-time great performances, against Al Lindke and Aimee Watson. Ken got in first on the signalling device an incredible 44 times (he only had one performance that was better). He went 5/5 in GONE FISHIN’ and 1920s AMERICA, 4/5 in THERE ARE PLACES, SPANIARDS, ACTORS & ACTRESSES, FLY ME TO THE MOON, and BILLIE HOLIDAY, and 3/5 in “Y”s GUYS, IT’S VEGAS, BABY!, and STRANGE FRUIT.

By the time it was all said and done, he racked up 42 correct, a $36,400 Coryat, and another $30,000 for his bank (he dropped $15,000 in Final).

#4: September 15, 2004 (Game 46)

In this game against David Fishbach and Cara Butler, neither David nor Cara got any higher than $4,400, and they were only able to get in on the signalling device 13 times combined during the entire show.

Ken went 5/5 in 3 categories (FIRST NAME’S THE SAME, WHO PLAYED ‘EM?, and PAINTINGS), 4/5 in 3 more (RATED “P.G.”, FEMMES FATALES, and YUCATAN LINES) and 3/5 in a seventh and eighth (AMERICAN LITERATURE and WORD “PLA”Y).

Unusually for Ken’s run, he only played one Daily Double during the game. He did make the most of it, though, adding $8,400 to his total.

Ken’s Coryat this time: $37,000 after 18 correct in the Jeopardy! round and 23 in Double Jeopardy. Although he missed Final, $37,600 got added to his total.

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#3: July 13, 2004 (Game 30)

The game which saw Ken break the $1,000,000 mark was one of his best performances.

He had $46,000 going into Final with 20 correct in the Jeopardy! round and 23 in the second half of the main game. His two opponents, Irene Lawrence and Max Corrick, picked up 7 apiece.

Of those, he ran FOLLOW THE LEADER, A CHORUS OF ANGELS, and HISTORIC GROUPS, went 4/5 in IN-FLIGHT MOVIES, A LITTLE BIT OF COUNTRY, WORLD CAPITAL BURIAL PLACES, and EDUCATION and 3/5 in HOBBY TIME and “V” SHALL OVERCOME.

Had he got Final Jeopardy correct, he would have set a one-day record at $60,000 — but he was unable to.

His Coryat, though: $37,200 — after his 43 correct.

#2: July 23, 2004 (Game 38)

Kristine O’Connell McCoy and Sarah Mulloy were the two challengers in the Season 20 finale. And what a finale it was!

Ken picked up an all-Coryat $14,400 after 23 correct in the Jeopardy! round – a score which could have been even higher had he found the Daily Double!

On two Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy, he added $16,200, bringing his score up to $35,000, with 23 clues left to play. He got 15 of those, and was as high as $53,000 before taking a neg on the final clue of Double Jeopardy! to bring his score down to $51,400. His lead going into Final of $45,800 is believed to be a record.

Ken’s adding another $23,600 in Final led to his high one-day total of $75,000, which stood until it was broken by Roger Craig.

Overall, Ken went 5/5 in 2 categories (NOW YOU’RE TALKING MY LANGUAGE and DEAR JUNTA), 4/5 in 5 more (THE BIG BANGLADESH, WHO’S THE MRS.?, MYTHELLANEOUS, BIRD HUNTING, and OSCARS OF THE ’70s), and 3/5 in four more on top of that (THE STING, “ROCK”Y, THE GODFATHER, and THE FRENCH CONNECTION)!

Ken’s Coryat in this game: $37,600.

#1: June 10, 2004

The highest Coryat score recorded in the J! Archive: $39,200.

Incredibly, though, Laura Adomunas held the lead in this game for a few clues in the Jeopardy! round, after she found the Daily Double.

Poor Susan Gress, though. She just could not get the signalling device at all.

Perrier’s “475 parts per million total dissolved solids” makes it this type of water

was the only clue (“What is mineral water?” she was able to respond correctly to the entire match. She took three other negs and did not have enough money to play Final Jeopardy.

Ken had 18 correct in the Jeopardy! round, but put up an incredible 25 correct on his own in Double Jeopardy. It was the first time he had run four categories in a single match. He went 5/5 in VERB FIRST NAMES, YOU’RE 21 TODAY, THE MIND, and OBSERVATIONS AND CELEBRATIONS, 4/5 in JUNE BUGGED, PULITZER PRIZES, and A RUNNING “TAB”, and 3/5 in THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, CLIFF NOTES, and THEY ALL PLAYED COUNTRY SINGERS.

He picked up another $9,400 in Final to pick up $50,000 for his 44 correct (including Final).

What did Ken do for an encore? That game’s at #9 on this list.

In all of Ken’s appearances on Jeopardy, he’s picked up 2,907 correct responses. How will he do when he only needs 500? Remember to watch ABC tomorrow!

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