Put some respect on Ken Jennings' name. The holder of the longest "Jeopardy!" winning streak of all time has now also captured the prestigious title of the game show's "Greatest of All Time."
True to the GOAT moniker, the 45-year-old Washington state native had to face the stiffest of competition to earn the honor: Brad Rutter (who has won the most money of anyone in game-show history) and James Holzhauer (who holds more "Jeopardy!" records than anyone).
But Jennings was not deterred. Tuesday's game came down to a Shakespearean question in "Final Jeopardy!" The clue was: "He has 272 speeches, the most of any non-title character in a Shakespeare tragedy." Although Jennings risked nothing, he was the only one who got it right with the answer of "Who is Iago?" Holzhauer, aka Jeopardy James -- who captured our collective attention with his prolific run last spring (seriously, even Tom Brady tweeted about him) -- risked it all with an incorrect answer of "Who is Horatio?"
The monumental win also marked the first time Jennings had defeated his longtime foe Rutter, who had a bleak showing by his standards.
The contest between the competitors (who have collectively appeared on "Jeopardy!" nearly 200 times, according to host Alex Trebek) ranked as the week's top entertainment program during all three of last week's matches, drawing an audience of more than 16 million viewers. The third installment alone drew a huge same-day audience of 15.4 million viewers. That's more eyeballs than watched the first five games of last season's NBA Finals or World Series. Not too shabby for a game show.
Jennings ended the night with the GOAT title, $1 million in grand prize money and the congratulations of Trebek, who couldn't help but muse: "It has taken 15 years for Ken Jennings to finally answer the question, 'Is he as good as he appeared to be in his great run on 'Jeopardy!'?'" as he handed over the trophy.
It's also worth mentioning that the former software engineer's total earnings from the show have amassed to $4,370,700. Pretty, pretty good to be Jennings.