Ken Jennings’ victory in the Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time Tournament earned him a million dollars, a trophy and the title of best Jeopardy! player ever. It was a thrilling four-match series in which he out-bet James Holzhauer and out-buzzered Brad Rutter, and now apparently it will be the last we see of Jennings on the Jeopardy! stage.
The trio of contestants have made the interview rounds in the days since the December tapings of the GOAT Tournament aired in prime time on ABC. Rutter said he didn’t have the “buzzer mojo” he needed to keep pace. But Jennings had a different announcement: it’s time to hang up the signaling device altogether.
In an interview with Variety, Jennings said he’s done with the trivia game show life for a number of reasons.
“I don’t see how I can top it,” he says. “The win was great. It’s a great punctuation mark, and I absolutely mean what I said about not wanting to play past my prime. And at some point Alex is going to retire, I assume, and it just wouldn’t feel right to play with a different host. It’d be like cheating on Alex. I think this is a perfect time to go out on top.”
Jennings spoke a number of times about not wanting to “play past” his prime, and he’s called Jeopardy! a young person’s game again and again in other interviews before the tournament. That Jennings thinks he’s past his prime and still played so well in the tournament is that much more impressive, and also speaks to just how good he was during his first run on the show back in 2004. If he really is calling it quits, we saw quite a show as his final act.