1. “Jeopardy!” (Syndicated)
Now in its 34th season in syndication, America’s highest-rated quiz show gives out the answers, leaving contestants to provide the questions to long-time host Alex Trebek. “Jeopardy!” has minted two millionaires: Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
Jennings, who took home more than $3.27 million in prize money, holds the record for the longest winning streak on the show as the last man standing in 74 games. Jennings donated some of that cash to charities and invested the rest in stocks, bonds, real estate and other relatively conservative vehicles. He’s also parlayed his game show stardom into book deals, authoring titles including the best-selling “Brainiac,” and serves as a panelist on the NPR quiz show “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”
Meanwhile, Rutter’s win streak was capped at five, the maximum allowed when he made his initial appearance. Since then, he’s taken home the top prize in the show’s Tournament of Champions, Million Dollar Masters, Ultimate Tournament of Champions, and Battle of the Decades. Rutter, who has raked in more than $4.35 million — and runs his own production company when he’s not dominating trivia — has never lost to a human on “Jeopardy!,” including Ken Jennings. Rutter’s only defeat came at the expense of the IBM supercomputer Watson.
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