Who is the new Jeopardy! host? Ken Jennings set to takeover hosting gig

The past Jeopardy! contestant has upgraded to host

THE CHASE - ABC's "The Chase" stars Ken Jennings.
(Image credit: (Raymond Liu/ABC via Getty Images)

We finally have a Jeopardy! host—for now. The competition show has announced Ken Jennings as one of the new hosts for the primetime series.

After Mike Richards stepped down as Jeopardy! host, the show's creators were tasked with quickly finding a new permanent host. Fans weren't left waiting too long though as the show announced on Thursday that former contestant Ken Jennings would join Mayim Bialik as the new Jeopardy! co-host.

"Not sure if you’ve heard but @missmayim and @kenjennings are hosting me until the end of the year. Everyone on the staff is supralunar," the show tweeted.

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Who is new Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings?

On the heels of the iconic Tournament of Champions, JEOPARDY! is coming to ABC in a multiple consecutive night event with JEOPARDY! The Greatest of All Time, premiering TUESDAY, JAN. 7

(Image credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

Ken isn't just any former contestant. In fact, he's considered one of the "greatest of all time." He's also been given the label of highest-earning American game show contestant of all time, having won money on five different games shows.

One of his most notable moments came in 2004 when he made history on Jeopardy! by competing and winning on the show 74 consecutive times. Among other achievements, Ken is an author of children's books and a trivia almanac. Now, he will take on hosting the show that led him to make millions.

Before his rise to game show fame, Ken studied at attended the University of Washington, then later transferred to Brigham Young University around 1996. It was there he got a taste for trivia where he joined the school's quizbowl team (a competition that tests students on various subjects). 

How much did Ken Jennings win on Jeopardy and who beat him?

As the highest-winning contestant on Jeopardy! Ken won around $2.5 million during his 74-game streak in 2004. His luck ran out when Nancy Zerg answered the one question that Ken got wrong during his 75th game.

Many contestants have since attempted to outrank him, but only one was able to break his winning streak, but the closest was a 32-game winning streak done by James Holzhauer.

Who will be the permanent host of Jeopardy after Ken Jennings?

Currently, there is no permanent replacement for Jeopardy! Ken and Mayim are said to be finishing out the year as the primetime co-hosts, then hopefully, by the start of next season we'll finally have a permanent host.

LeVar Burton was considered a top contender for the coveted hosting spot, but has since expressed he no longer wants it.

"They say be careful of what you wish for because what I found out is that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted after all,” he said in an interview with the Daily Show's Trevor Noah. “What I wanted was to compete. I mean I wanted the job, but then when I didn’t get it, it was, like, well, okay, what’s next?”

With the top candidate out of the race, the search for a new host continues. In the meantime, we look forward to some top shelf entertainment to keep us going!

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.