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Jeopardy Champ Pitches for Microsoft

Techstination feature for Monday, December 20, 2004

Jeopardy's all time champ….pitches for Microsoft. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Ken Jennings…who lasted 74 days on Jeopardy…winning more than 2 and a half million dollars…the most in game show history….is a software engineer by trade. Now he is doing some work for Microsoft….but not on the programming side…

"Yeah, I've actually taken a leave of absence from my job as a programmer, cause there's been so many other short term opportunities to take advantage of. And among them is the opportunity to be endorsing Microsoft Encarta, their online encyclopedia product." Is the line here that you prepared for Jeopardy using Encarta? "I've had Encarta since the very first edition. I've been an Encarta user for nearly ten years I think and so yeah, more than anything else I've ever read it helped prepare for Jeopardy. You can't really cram for the show. So it's sort of a lifetime of learning which you need, but it was definitely part of that." I suppose you're going to be an entry in the next Encarta. "I hear that it's possible. I've heard from the Encarta editorial people that it may be possible. I don't know how many other game show contestants are actually in the encyclopedia. It would be a rare honor."

There are some who claim that avid video game players…used to pushing buttons on controllers quickly…have the advantage when it comes to winning at games like Jeopardy. Jennings says… he hasn't been playing much lately…

"Hardly any video games. Not since college. Not since I almost flunked out of college by playing too much Nintendo."

Jennings, by the way, has a book contract…and University Games will have a board game out next year called Can You Beat Ken. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.