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This Game Show Contestant Is In 'Jeopardy!'

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2004; 11:50 AM

For the want of a dollar, Ken Jennings's made-for-TV kingdom was lost.

Today's column is a SPOILER, boys and girls. If you do not wish to be in-the-know about "Jeopardy!" Mensa boy Jennings, turn the page. Otherwise, read on.


Ken Jennings (right, with host Alex Trebek) topped the $1 million mark in winnings in July. (Sony Pictures Television Via AP)

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After amassing the largest pot of winnings in TV game show history -- more than $2.5 million -- in a "Jeopardy!" winning streak that began way back on June 2, Jennings is brought down tonight after he flubs two Double Jeopardy responses and then blows the Final Jeopardy round, according to a report circulating yesterday.

A dramatic two-minute audio clip that sounded like it was Jennings's entire final Final Jeopardy encounter mysteriously popped up yesterday on the Internet, almost as though someone wanted The Reporters Who Cover Television to find it and alert viewers that today's broadcast was Must See TV, like maybe they were trying to goose the broadcast's ratings in the November sweeps or something.

The clip popped up on the Web site Kottke.org. That's the same site that in September posted a report from "super-tipster Phillip" that Jennings would lose after 75 consecutive games and about $2.5 million in winnings. Which would put it at, say, now.

(Grievously, as of this morning, the audio clip had been expunged from the Web site, replaced with a note to "Jeopardy!" fans saying, "I've been contacted by a lawyer representing Sony and they have asked me to remove the audio clip. Sorry." But fortunately, devoted readers of the TV Column, we took copious notes, and here it is in its entirety.)

Business and Industry proved Jennings's undoing:

Alex Trebek: "The category is Business and Industry and here is the clue, ladies and gentlemen: Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year. You have 30 seconds. Good luck."

("Jeopardy!" muzak is heard:)

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