Ken Jennings, that 30-year-old computer software engineer from Salt Lake City, finally lost on Jeopardy!, but not before boosting ratings of the game show by 100 percent, not to mention boosting his bank account by $2.5 million. In 74 consecutive appearances, he won the hearts of millions. A grandmother in Portland, Oregon, lapsed into a coma following congestive heart failure and when she eventually came to, the first thing she wanted to know was if Jennings was still defending his title. I wonder if she would have asked Saint Peter the same question, had she not revived.
The crowning of the new quiz king has me remembering my own days as a quizmaster in pursuit of biblical trivia. When I was a kid, the leaders of the youth department were big on trivia. We started with sword drills. Our church was not pacifist in this pursuit; in fact, you might say we had a proliferation of arms. Someone would call out a specific chapter and verse in the Bible and my peers and I would race to be the ...1