When Ken appeared on his first-ever episode of Jeopardy!, he was announced as “a software engineer from Salt Lake City, Utah.” According to the bio on his website, Ken held that position at a healthcare staffing company. Throughout his 74-game streak on the show, however, he was suddenly thrust into the spotlight and receiving national attention. He was able to take his illustrious game show career and use it as a jumping-off point to becoming a published author.
In 2006, Ken published the book Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs. In it, he wrote about his own experience with trivia — from competing on his school’s quiz bowl team to his time on Jeopardy! — as well as the history and culture of trivia in America. He says on his website that he kept his day job throughout his time on the show, but after being offered the book deal, he took some “semi-permanent leave” to work on Brainiac.
The 46-year-old has gone on to write several more books, including Ken Jennings’ Travel Almanac, Maphead, Planet Funny, and a children’s series called Junior Genius Guides. He also co-hosts a podcast with John Roderick called Omnibus. They call the podcast “a complete compendium of human history and achievement” — so, obviously, that’s a pretty big job. But it’s not the only thing keeping Ken busy these days!