isn't the star
The contestants are.
2003, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2014
74 Wins / UTOC / IBM / BotD
The man, the legend, the one and only
After an amazing 74-game streak that concluded in 2004, he competed in the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions, went head-to-head against IBM’s Watson, and was first runner-up in 2014’s Battle of the Decades. Outside of Jeopardy!, he’s gone on to become a best-selling author and panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!
1999, 2000, 2002, 2005
5-Time / TOC / MDM / UTOC/ BotD
This season 16 champion was a trailblazer.
Sportswriter Eddie Timanus made Jeopardy! history as our first blind contestant. Using only his instinct for the right moment to ring in on a clue, braille cards with the category headings, and a keyboard to type out his Final Jeopardy! responses, he went on to become a 5-time, undefeated champion (in the days before the cap was lifted). He has since returned to compete in the 2000 Tournament of Champions, the Million Dollar Masters tournament, the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and the Battle of the Decades. Cash winnings weren’t the only thing he got out of his appearance: his future wife first saw Eddie on television while he was a Jeopardy! contestant.
1987 Teen / 1998 TR
The unforgettable Dana Venator left a lasting impression on our host.
Alex Trebek still remembers the quirky Dana Venator. She was an instant favorite after sharing her stories of practicing bagpipes in the woods and buying the bathrobes from the posh hotel she stayed at while taping the show. First appearing on the show in the 1987 Teen Tournament where she made it to she semifinals, she returned 11 years later in 1998 for our Teen Reunion Tournament taped in Boston.
2001, 2002, 2005, 2011, 2014
5-Time, IBM, Champion: TOC, MDM, UTOC, BotD
Brad Rutter has never lost a game of Jeopardy! (to a human).
The Tournament of Champions, Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Million Dollar Masters, the Battle of the Decades: if we invite Brad Rutter to a tournament, he always seems to take home the grand prize. Amassing over four million dollars over 13 years, he’s won more money on the show than any other contestant. His only loss on the show was to IBM’s Watson in 2011.
20-Time Winner / TOC
Julia Collins took Jeopardy! by storm when she won 20 straight games.
When Julia Collins first appeared on Jeopardy! in the spring of 2014, few could have predicted that she was beginning the second-longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history. By the time she stepped out of the Winners’ Circle, she had amassed more than $400,000 dollars and won a whopping 20 games: second only to Ken Jennings. She reappeared again later in 2014 for the Tournament of Champions where she took home 3rd place.
1990, 1993, 2002, 2005, 2014
5-Time, TOC, Super J!, 10th, MDM, UTOC, BotD
Frank Spangenberg broke new ground when he broke the $100,000 winnings mark.
New York City police officer Frank Spangenberg was our first-ever contestant to win more than $100,000 on Jeopardy! He held the title for highest winnings on Jeopardy! for over 13 years, until Brian Weikle took that designation (albeit after the dollar amounts on the game board were doubled). He returned to compete in the 1990 Tournament of Champions, the 10th Anniversary Tournament, the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Million Dollar Masters, and the Battle of the Decades.
11-Time winner / TOC
Arthur Chu’s unconventional gameplay style drew plenty of attention.
Voiceover artist Arthur Chu raised plenty of eyebrows when he started implementing a rarely-seen strategy on the show in 2014. Rather than run down a category top-to-bottom, he preferred to aggressively “bounce” around the board in hopes of revealing the coveted Daily Doubles. This strategy, often referred to as the “Forrest Bounce,” was introduced by former contestant Chuck Forrest. Chu went on to win an amazing 11 straight games all while garnering considerable conversation about him in social media, and then went on to take second place in the 2014 Tournament of Champions.
6-Time / Champ: 2011 TOC / BotD
Roger Craig’s $77,000 single-day winnings set a new record.
Roger Craig used his background in computer science to help him train for Jeopardy!, and the numbers certainly indicate that it paid off. With a couple of big Daily Double wagers, Roger secured a new record for the most money won in a single game of Jeopardy! He went on to win the 2011 Tournament of Champions and took home third place in the 2014 Battle of the Decades.
1 (But what a win!)
Ken Jennings finally met his match with this Ventura, California realtor.
After 74 wins, Ken Jennings finally met his match. Nancy Zerg responded correctly to the Final Jeopardy! clue in his 75th game, ending his months-long reign as champion. Unfortunately, Nancy didn’t take home the title of champion the next day, but she still gets bragging rights as the first Jeopardy! contestant to beat Ken.
1999, 2006, 2009, 2010
Celeb J!, Champion: ’10 Celeb Invitational
This famous funny man won big for his chosen charity.
Michael McKean was no stranger to Jeopardy! when he signed up for our Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational in 2009 - he had previously appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy! in 1999 and 2006. Winning the Tournament over finalists Jane Curtin and Cheech Marin, he brought home $1,000,000 for the International Myeloma Foundation.
2012, 2013, 2014
Champ:2012 Teachers / 2013 TOC / BotD
This teacher is a tournament champion twice-over.
As the 2012 Teachers Tournament Champion, Colby Burnett was automatically invited to participate in the 2013 Tournament of Champions where he again took home the grand prize and the title of tournament champion twice in one season.
1993, 1994, 2002, 2005, 2014
Champ 1994 TOC / MDM / UTOC / BotD
This attorney became the first-ever woman to win the Tournament of Champions.
After winning the 1994 Tournament of Champions, Rachael went on to compete in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Million Dollar Masters, and The Battle of the Decades. She used her winnings to retire from the practice of law and begin studying stem cell research.
1986, 1990, 2002, 2005, 2014
Champ - 1987 TOC / Super J! / MDM / UTOC
Winner of the second Tournament of Champions while still a law student in 1986.
One of the first five-time champions to capture viewers’ attention, particularly with regard to his game playing strategy of moving from category to category (dubbed by fans as the “Forrest Bounce” and later used to much success by players such as Arthur Chu and Roger Craig). Chuck went on to win the 1987 TOC, and also competed in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Million Dollar Masters, and the Battle of the Decades. Chuck is considered by many one of the best Jeopardy! players of all time.
2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2014
Champ: 2000 TOC & Int’l / MDM / UTOC / BotD
Winner of the 2000 Tournament of Champions and 2001 International Tournament of Champions.
The unwaveringly effervescent Robin Carroll has the unique distinction of being both an American and International Jeopardy! Champion. After winning the 2000 Tournament of Champions, she went on to take home the grand prize against competitors from across the globe in the following year’s International Tournament of Champions. She also competed in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and the Battle of the Decades.