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As the weeks tick down to Jeopardy!'s big "Greatest Of All Time" tournament, there has been a lot of chatter about the match up between Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer. Of course, more dedicated fans will point out they aren't the only two competing, and that Brad Rutter should be regarded as just as fierce of a competitor as either man. If that's the case though, why isn't the general public more aware of him?
It shouldn't surprise anyone, but Brad Rutter has an answer. Though Rutter is the overall winnings record holder of Jeopardy!, he believes more folks know about Ken Jennings due to the time he spent on television.
If you want to be really famous you have to go on TV every day. Ken was on for 6 months because he had the summer break in between. He played two months, then the summer break, then four months...I remember back then it was a big media story. It makes sense.
Brad Rutter believes that Ken Jennings' long television run is why he's the bigger household name when people think of past Jeopardy! champions. The same is probably true of James Holzhauer, who had a 32-game streak earlier in 2019. Holzhauer also made news due to his astonishing single-day totals and the way he gamed Jeopardy! to his advantage in a way other contestants hadn't. Holzhauer's play style put him in striking distance of Ken Jennings, so of course the media covered it again.
Brad Rutter does not have an impressive consecutive game run, but it's worth mentioning he comes from an era where Jeopardy! wouldn't allow such a thing. Game rules required Rutter retire after a consecutive 5-day streak, which may make his overall winnings record all the more impressive. A bulk of Rutter's money comes from tournaments he's been invited back for, in which he defeated other Jeopardy! champions including Ken Jennings.
So does this mean Brad Rutter thinks he's a clear favorite over Ken Jennings? Rutter spoke to TMZ about his prior wins over Jennings, and broke down their past match ups.
It's generally been pretty close when we played, a few breaks could go either way. I guess I've been lucky enough to get those breaks. But then again, you make your own luck. I wouldn't put myself as a huge favorite over Ken. Things just work out that way.
Brad Rutter was not asked about James Holzhauer, who remains the big question mark ahead of Jeopardy!'s "Greatest Of All Time" tournament. This will be the first time Rutter and Ken Jennings have faced Holzhauer, who is fresh off a win at the latest "Tournament of Champions." Holzhauer could continue to dominate in this upcoming tournament, or face some stiff competition early on. Given the format of the tournament, we should know in the first couple days.
Jeopardy!'s "Greatest Of All Time" tournament kicks off on ABC Tuesday, January 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest on the competition, and for what's happening in the world of television and movies.