SALT LAKE CITY — Ken Jennings' luck has run out on “Jeopardy!”
Team Brad, which featured Brad Rutter, Larissa Kelly and David Madden, secured the bag on “Jeopardy! All-Star Games,” winning the 10-day all-star tournament/
Jennings and his team, Team Ken, which included Jennings, Matt Jackson and Monica Thieu, finished in second place on the show. Team Colby — Colby Burnett, Pam Mueller and Alan Lin — finished in third. Team Brad will now accept a $1 million grand prize.
Jennings and his squad will walk away with $300,000 and Team Colby will leave with $100,000.
- “While the money is certainly nice, the biggest reward is to be able to compete with the best of the best, who also happen to be great people, and to have a lot of fun doing it,” said Rutter, according to a press release. “The highlight for me was getting to be a part of a team. There’s always a camaraderie among 'Jeopardy!' players who are playing against each other; it was really cool to be able to encourage each other and pick each other up if things weren’t going as well as they could have.”
Going into Tuesday night’s finale, Team Brad has a slim lead over Team Ken — $36,000 to $32,500. Team Colby was way behind with $8,000.
Team Brad maintained its strategy from the first night, focusing on Daily Doubles and Double Jeopardy!
Jennings said Daily Doubles were the difference in the second game.
- “In hindsight, since it was a pretty accessible Final Jeopardy! that everyone knew, the whole game came down to whether Brad or I found that second Daily Double,” Jennings said. “We were both buzzing in well in that round but that one brief stretch where he found both Daily Doubles about a minute apart was really the nail in the coffin. I was thinking the same thing I’m always thinking when I watch Brad play in a tournament: ‘What’s his secret? How many lives does this guy have? The 'Jeopardy!' gods love Brad Rutter.’”
Rutter and Jennings have faced off before. Rutter has won all competitions between the two.
Jennings said the competition was “a blast.” He still says his team’s winin the first match of the tournament against Julia Collins and Austin Rogers is one of his favorite memories all-time from “Jeopardy.”
- “Getting such a convincing win in that first match against such all-time talent was the best feeling,” he said. “I remember being so proud of Monica when she nailed that Final Jeopardy! about Rembrandt, and I think that was the match where Matt knew a 1970s ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch. That was so not in his wheelhouse, but he had prepared like crazy in what he considered ‘weak’ categories, reading whole books about 20th century TV. It paid off! Everybody overachieved.”