Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings' winning streak has been nothing short of remarkable.
A software engineer from Salt Lake City, Jennings hit the $1 million mark this week, after winning a record 32 nights in row on the syndicated game show.
His first appearance aired on June 2.
"I've always been the guy who knows a little bit about a lot of stuff," Jennings said. "I'm by nature a curious person. I'm interested in a lot of stuff. If I meet someone new, I want to know all about them. If there are cool things about their job that I don't know or their hometown or their hobbies, I guess I'm just curious."
There have been some scares along the way, since some wins were harder to pull of than others, and he has pulled a couple answers out of thin air. But mostly, Jennings has been unstoppable.
He is not forthcoming about his trade secrets.
Said Jennings, laughing, "You know, if I had a secret technique I wouldn't really say it, now would I?"
Jennings' father was an international attorney, so the family moved all around the world. As a child, he lived in Seattle, Singapore and South Korea.
His parents put great value on education, but more importantly, Jennings says he remembered them always talking to one another about art, books, movies, politics and world events.
"If you were to sit around my family's dining room table growing up, you'd probably be amazed at all the fast, loud talking that was going on," Jennings said.
When he's not winning on Jeopardy!, the 30-year-old likes to read and paint. That is, when he has time. He is the father of a 1-year-old son, Dylan.
Flash Card Training
To prepare for the show, his wife, Mindy, quizzed him with flash cards.
"We'd be driving in the car and she'd be like, 'What's in a Harvey Wallbanger? What's in Planters Punch?,' and I'd have to go through the ingredients. But she was very angry that, despite our training, I screwed up on Brandy Alexander [when answering on the show]."
For Jennings and his family, his winning streak means opportunity. A devout Mormon, he plans to give 10 percent of what his winnings to the church, and he hopes to go back to school.
Said Jennings: "If anything I hope people watch the show and they think: 'You know, here's a guy who's good at maybe one thing — answering trivia questions — and he found a way to make that pay off. Maybe I should look for the thing that I'm good at and see if I can find a way to make that pay off in my life,' " said Jennings. "I think that would be pretty cool if people got that lesson."