GREENCASTLE, Ind. (WISH) – Jeopardy! star Ken Jennings brought his trivia game to DePauw University on Tuesday.
The 74-game winning champion was invited to be a guest speaker as part of the university’s Ubben Lecture Series.
Speaking to News 8 exclusively before the event, Jennings shared his personal message of “winning” where it matters most.
“I hope some of the things I learned from winning Jeopardy! also apply to other types of success and winning in the real areas of my less glamorous, non-game show life,” Jennings said.
He also says he doesn’t like the conventional definitions of winning. Instead, Jennings believes having talent and passion and how a person fills those things should be what defines winning.
He went on, joking, that he never had a guidance counselor in high school telling him he could get a job with his trivia brain.
But, he also says, “I was lucky enough to find this second act in something I love… after spending time in a computer job that I wasn’t that great at and didn’t love,” Jennings admits.
Still, trivia, and his success because of it, is something Jennings doesn’t take lightly.
Ken Jennings and his knowledge of Indiana
“Jeopardy! clues are meant to be accessible enough that most of the contestants know them because dead air is bad television and that even people at home can shout at answers.. that’s what makes the show fun. That being said, I don’t think there is anything bad about having quick recall of lots of different facts in a broad area of interest. I mean, it makes you a more interesting person and more interesting conversationalist. I think you make better decisions when you’re able to pull up correct facts as opposed to the wrong ones you’re getting from your grandma’s Facebook memes,” said Jennings.
Jennings couldn’t help but smile when speaking about his time on the popular game show that has now made him famous.
Last month, on a special edition of Jeopardy!, Jennings beat fellow champs James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter to win $1 million and be named the show’s greatest of all time.
“If you’ve been on the show enough times, you get to know Alex. Last time I saw him, he was doing well. Whether he’s feeling good or feeling bad that day, as soon as the music comes on he can just come out there and be Alex Trebek, he’s been doing it for almost 40 years,” Jennings said.
News 8 took Tuesday’s interview as an opportunity to try and stump the champ.