Ken Jennings: Who is 1st 'Jeopardy!' Guest Host?

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Ken Jennings, a 74-time champion of the popular quiz show, will be the first interim guest host stepping in for the late Alex Trebek.  (JEOPARDY! via AP)

Former Jeopardy! champion, author and know-it-all kind of guy, Ken Jennings, will be the first guest host of the long-running trivia game show, officials said Monday.

The announcement, two weeks after much-loved host Alex Trebek died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, explained that "a series of interim guest hosts from the Jeopardy! family" will take over the show, which Trebek hosted from 1984 until earlier this year.

"We will resume production on 11/30," the show's official Twitter account said, noting that additional guest hosts will be announced at a later time.

Jennings responded to the tweet with one of his own.


"There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January," he wrote.

Jennings made show history after winning 74 straight games in 2004 and into 2005. The record-breaking streak earned him $3,370,700. (Brad Rutter is the highest money winner of all time across any television game show, with total Jeopardy! winnings of $4,688,436, according to ABC News.)

Years later, Jennings took on Watson, an IBM supercomputer the size of 10 refrigerators. In the televised version of man versus machine, machine won.

"Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him. We will honor his legacy by continuing to produce the show he loved," executive producer Mike Richards said.

Trebek's more than three decades at the helm of the program earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter.

A permanent replacement host for Trebek has yet to be named.

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