Reviews > Culture

The streak

Culture

Issue: "Year in Review 2004," Jan. 1, 2005

Ken Jennings ruled the quiz show "Jeopardy!" from June 2 to Nov. 30-a streak of 74 games that earned the Mormon software engineer from Salt Lake City over $2.5 million and a place in history. It was the longest streak and the biggest winnings for any televised game show. "I feel like 'Cactus Gavvy' Cravath," previous champion Tom Walsh told The Washington Post. "He's the guy who had the home run record before Babe Ruth came along."

What brought Mr. Jennings down, as with many talented entrepreneurs, was the taxman. "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year," read his final clue, to which he was unable to come up with the answer: What is H&R Block? Mr. Jennings is expected to keep over $1.5 million in winnings after the taxman cometh.

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