SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Murray man is the new Jeopardy! giant, having pocketed nearly half a million dollars. And he's going for more.
Ken Jennings, 30, was seen on his 16th straight Jeopardy! episode Wednesday, a day after No. 15 brought him another $15,200. Before Wednesday's show, his total winnings stood at $486,959 -- about $300,000 more than Tom Walsh, a Washington, D.C., man who set the previous record during a seven-day run in January.
Walsh's streak came several months after show producers announced they were dropping the five-day restriction for returning champions, allowing Walsh, 39, to win $184,900.
Then along came Jennings, a Brigham Young University computer science graduate who's no stranger to the world of quick quiz. Jennings, a software engineer for CompHealth Group in Murray, was a member of BYU's successful College Bowl team in the 1990s.
Jennings also edits literature and mythology questions for the National Academic Quiz Tournament.
Jennings' Jeopardy! streak is over, though viewers may not realize it. The Jeopardy! episodes featuring him were taped in February, and Jennings is back home in Murray, though he's refusing comment until the streak ends on TV, or he hits another milestone. He referred all questions to the show's producers, who also declined to discuss Jennings on Wednesday.
After the show featured him passing the $250,000 mark last week, Jennings told The Salt Lake Tribune, "It's a little bit like shock, like you can't believe how fast it goes by. Thinking back, it's all just a blur."
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)