Ken Jennings holds the record for most consecutive wins on the classic American trivia game show, Jeopardy.

Why you should listen

Ken Jennings loves facts. When he was a kid he followed his parents around reciting whatever new fact he had learned -- "Haley's comet or giant squids or the size of the world's biggest pumpkin pie or whatever it was" -- to no end. And his natural curiosity paid off. Today Jennings holds the record for most consecutive wins on the trivia game show Jeopardy, with an astounding 74 wins. (At one point Jennings also held the Guinness World Record for "Most cash won on a game show." Not bad for a trivia nerd.)

In 2011 Jennings participated in the IBM Challenge, which featured him and Jeopardy rival Brad Rutter in a match against IBM supercomputer Watson. Jennings came in second. Watson was first. But Jennings wasn't disappointed in his performance, As he wrote of his loss, "I don't have 2,880 processor cores and 15 terabytes of reference works at my disposal. ... My puny human brain, just a few bucks worth of water, salts, and proteins, hung in there just fine against a jillion-dollar supercomputer."

In 2012 Jennings published the book Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids.

Ken Jennings’ TED talk

Ken Jennings on the TED Blog