You might say a little bit of Ken Jennings' spotlight is spilling over onto one of Lubbock's own. NewsChannel 11 introduced you to Ken's great aunt, Betty Jennings, last week, and word of her has since spread all over Texas. Tuesday, though, was about one thing... rooting on Ken.
Betty and her friends Mary and Blaine Sexton cheered as Alex Trebek revealed Ken had surpassed the million dollar mark and Betty says, "Oh, it's just wonderful, he hit a million and just a little bit more." He may be a new-found millionaire, but it's not the money Betty admires so much about her great nephew. Rather, it's his attitude. She says, "He's a wonderful young man."
Ken's 30 day win streak on Jeopardy has intrigued a nation and his Lubbock fan club is growing. Mary Sexton says, "Being close with Betty, we're so excited. She has just told us all about him and I think it's wonderful. We wanted to be here today to share this time with her when he became a millionaire."
Blaine Sexton, Mary's son, says "He's able to recall in an instant. That's what's so amazing, his knowledge covers a lot of different things."
Through it all, humor has not been trumped by brains on the Jeopardy set. Betty explains, "Ken doesn't drink since he's a Mormon, but flash card quizzes with his wife helped him ace the potent potables category. When Alex Trebek told Ken he owes his wife, Ken said "I'll buy her a drink."
Ken's fame is now shared as Betty Jennings becomes a bit of a celebrity herself. NewsChannel 11's video of her has appeared on other Texas news stations, and WOAI radio out of San Antonio tracked her down Monday for a phone interview. Ken goes for win number 31 Wednesday. You can catch Jeopardy on NewsChannel 11 at 11:30 A.M.
Though he has far surpassed any previous Jeopardy records, Ken has a way to go before he surpasses the all-time game show winnings record. A contestant on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' won more than $2 million back in 2001.