This page will contain news stories about Venus Williams, as they become available.
|Residence:||Palm Beach, Florida, USA|
|Height:||6'1" (185 cm)|
|Weight:||160 lbs. (72.5 kg)|
|Turned pro:||October 1994|
|Highest singles ranking:||1 (February 25, 2002)|
|Career Prize Money:||$14,815,188|
|Grand Slam Record
|Australian Open||F (2003)|
|French Open||F (2002)|
|Wimbledon||W (2000, '01)|
|U.S. Open||W (2000, '01)|
Venus Ebone Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an former World No. 1 tennis champion who was born in Lynwood, California, United States. She is the daughter of Richard and Oracene Williams and the sister of another tennis champion, Serena Williams.
When the Williams sisters (who are five in total) were young, they were moved to Compton, California. There, they sometimes had to dodge bullets while practicing tennis at local public courts. Their father Richard used to take all five of his daughters to the courts in hopes that someday at least one of them would reach sporting glory and move them into a better place.
Venus as a young girl became one of California's top young tennis players, and she and her sister Serena shared the top seed as California's best young players for a long time.
Venus turned professional in the 1990s and went on to have a very lucrative tennis career. She has garnered many important championships, including two Gold medals at the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000, the Fed Cup, the 1999 French Open doubles (with sister Serena as her partner) and 5 other doubles and 2 mixed doubles grand slams, the Oklahoma City Tennis championship, the Italian Open, and the Hamburg Open. In 2000 she won the Wimbledon championship and the U.S. Open in singles and defended both titles in 2001. In 2002 and 2003 Venus achieved five singles major finals but lost all of them to her sister Serena.
When Venus and Serena won the 1999 French Open doubles title, they became the first pair of sisters to win a doubles title in the 20th century.
In 2003, Williams played at the 2003 Wimbledon finals despite suffering an abdominal injury. She lost to her sister Serena, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6.
Williams' older sister, Yetunde Price, was killed by gunshots in the Compton area as she and a male driver passed by inside a car, on the morning of September 14, 2003.
Recently, Willams' results have steadily declined. After finishing an injury plagued 2003 season ranked 11, Williams rebounded into the top 10 for a year end #9 ranking in 2004, but for the first time since 1997, she failed to qualify for the WTA Tour's annual Year Ending Championships in Los Angeles. In 2005, Williams' ranking has fallen to #16.
Grand slam events in boldface.
Grand slam events in boldface. Doubles partner sister Serena Williams.
Doubles partner sister Serena Williams.. Its format is unknown, but it is already said it will be far different from the network's previous game show offering, Win Ben Stein's Money. Grand slam events in boldface. Comedy Central has announced that they have inked a deal for Ken to host a new game show on their network, likely to begin in the autumn of 2005. Grand slam events in boldface.. Also starring Dennis Haysbert, the advertisements parody a typical Final Jeopardy! situation, and parody Ken's usual style of guessing at answers by having him answer the question in a humorous, over-the-top inquisitive fashion. In 2005, Williams' ranking has fallen to #16. Ken Jennings also is appearing on commercials for Allstate Insurance.
After finishing an injury plagued 2003 season ranked 11, Williams rebounded into the top 10 for a year end #9 ranking in 2004, but for the first time since 1997, she failed to qualify for the WTA Tour's annual Year Ending Championships in Los Angeles. The first of these commercials, portraying Jennings as having lots of "friends & family" (coming out of the woodwork, because he is now "stinking rich") started airing in February, 2005. Recently, Willams' results have steadily declined. The SBC Communications and BellSouth joint venture Cingular Wireless LLC has signed Jennings to appear in commercials. Williams' older sister, Yetunde Price, was killed by gunshots in the Compton area as she and a male driver passed by inside a car, on the morning of September 14, 2003. Ken himself appeared in the commercial. She lost to her sister Serena, 6-4, 4-6, 2-6. University Games is also producing a Can you Beat Ken? board game to be released in approximately May of 2005.
In 2003, Williams played at the 2003 Wimbledon finals despite suffering an abdominal injury. He is also engaged in speaking deals through the Massachusetts-based speakers agency, American Program Bureau (http://www.apbspeakers.com/themes/DefaultView/Site?aspx?PAGE=HOME). When Venus and Serena won the 1999 French Open doubles title, they became the first pair of sisters to win a doubles title in the 20th century. Jennings has also agreed to a deal with Microsoft to promote their Encarta encyclopedia software, and has signed a deal with Bertelsmann AG for a book to be published through one of their book divisions in 2005. In 2002 and 2003 Venus achieved five singles major finals but lost all of them to her sister Serena. Jennings accepted the offer, and in another news story (http://www.tvbarn.com/ticker2004/archives/028052.shtml), H&RB officials reported that they had offered similar services to other individuals in the past. Open in singles and defended both titles in 2001. According to H&RB statements, Jennings could pay over $1.045 million alone in taxes, more than any quiz show contestant.
In 2000 she won the Wimbledon
championship and the U.S. H&R Block, the firm named in the answer he 'missed', announced in a
press release (http://www.hrblock.com/presscenter/pressreleases/pressRelease.jsp?PRESS_RELEASE_ID=1245) that
they were offering him a deal for free tax preparation and financial services for the rest of his life. She has garnered many important championships, including two Gold medals at the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000, the Fed Cup, the 1999
French Open doubles (with sister Serena as her partner) and 5 other doubles
and 2 mixed doubles grand slams, the Oklahoma City Tennis championship, the Italian Open, and the Hamburg Open. Jennings’ success has resulted in him being a popular individual amongst corporations looking for public endorsers. Venus turned professional in the 1990s and went on to have a very lucrative tennis
Their father Richard used to take all five of his daughters to the courts in hopes that someday at least one of them would reach sporting glory and move them into a better place. The winner of the tournament and $2 million prize was Brad Rutter, with a total of $62,000 earned over the three days. There, they sometimes had to dodge bullets while practicing tennis at local public courts. Jerome Vered finished with a total of $20,600 for third place. When the Williams sisters (who are five in total) were young, they were moved to Compton, California. In the final, Jennings faced off against Jerome Vered and Brad Rutter in a three day tournament for $2 million ($500,000 for 2nd place and $250,000 for third place). After the three days, Ken Jennings finished in 2nd place with a tally of $34,599. She is the daughter of Richard and Oracene Williams and the sister of another tennis champion, Serena Williams. If Jennings won the three-day final, he would have broken Lygo's record.
1 tennis champion who was born in Lynwood, California, United States. During his original run, Jennings defeated 149 opponents. Venus Ebone Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an former World No. In the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, Jennings had a chance to break Lygo's record of defeating 150 opponents. 2003: Australian Open. After Jennings' 75th show, he tied Lygo's record of 75 consecutive appearances and, with 74 wins, he almost reached Lygo's record of 75 consecutive game show wins. 2002: Wimbledon. Ian Lygo appeared on the British game show 100% 75 consecutive times and won every game until he was forced to retire by the show's producers.
2001: Australian Open. Jennings broke almost every game show record in his run. 2000: Summer Olympics-Sydney. Oddly, however, during the 74th game, which aired on Monday, November 29, Gilbert resumed announcing the number of games. 2000: Wimbledon. To make it more difficult for viewers to keep track of Ken's progress towards his final episode, in early September 2004 the show's announcer, Johnny Gilbert, ceased mentioning the number of games that Jennings had won, as had been the show's custom. However, some people in the studio audience reported that he was still announcing them, possibly meaning those parts had been edited out of the airing. Open. The reasoning behind the early airing was reportedly due to a technician running the wrong tape.
1999: U.S. In an interesting turn of events, the 75th episode was aired early in the Macon, Georgia area (on WMAZ-TV, see here (http://www.freep.com/entertainment/tvandradio/tv1e_20041201.htm)) on Friday, November 26, 2004. 1999: French Open. Later on, it was determined that Ken Jennings did indeed lose as initially reported with the failing episode shown in most cities across North America on Tuesday, November 30, 2004. 1999: Hannover. Despite this, Jeopardy! refused to comment. 1998: Zurich. A few days later, another rumor spread giving out an incorrect first name of the contestant that had beat him.
1998: Oklahoma City. (Jeopardy! tapes five shows per day.) This incident was reported by TV Week and the Associated Press, appearing in hundreds of newspapers across the United States. In a rumor (http://www.kottke.org/04/09/some-ken-jennings-news) disclosed on Wednesday, September 8, 2004, two sources who were at the taping on September 7, 2004 reported that Jennings had lost on his 75th episode, taped the day before, with total winnings at around $2.5 million. Jennings' adjusted total of $37,500 puts him ahead of that mark. Four contestants finished with scores of $30,000 or higher in the pre-doubling era, led by Jerome Vered's score of $34,000.
Jennings's top score of $75,000 is the highest ever, even if it is adjusted for the seasons before the clue values were doubled. Jennings has reached the $50,000 mark eleven times, with wins of $75,000, $55,099, $52,000 (three times), and $50,000 (six times). Myron Meyer won $50,000 on September 5, 2002, and Brian Weikle won $52,000 on April 14, 2003. Prior to Jennings's run, the $50,000 mark had only been reached twice before.
Jennings now also holds most of the top spots in the list of highest single day winnings on Jeopardy!. If winnings are further adjusted to make them comparable to the seasons before the clue values were doubled, Jennings's adjusted total of $78,000 would place him 11th in the Trebek era of Jeopardy!, behind Frank Spangenberg ($102,597) and nine others. No other Jeopardy! contestant has won more than $150,000 in non-tournament play in the first five days. The previous record holder, Tom Walsh, won $184,900 in seven days, but only $118,100 of that came in the first five days.
Sean Ryan was the first to break the record, winning six games in October 2003. Jennings won US$156,000 in his first five days on Jeopardy!, so if the five-day rule had not been eliminated, he would still be the all-time non-tournament winner in Jeopardy! history. Comprehensive game summaries for each day of Ken Jennings' streak have been compiled here. With three consecutive losses in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in addition to the loss in his previous Jeopardy appearance, Jennings has now lost four episodes in a row.
Jennings also holds the record for the number of consecutive losses on Jeopardy. Jennings' current total of US$3,022,700 could be increased to US$3,272,700 if he wins the next Tournament of Champions for the
season in which his streak ended, thus retaking the title of highest total winnings on Jeopardy or any other game show.
** In 100%, Lygo faced two opponents per game. * Lygo was forced to retire by producer RTL Group. Three game show records remained that Jennings did not tie or break:. He also tied the following records:.
During his streak, Jennings broke the following records:. During his Jeopardy! appearances, Jennings became known for several quirky behaviors:. Harry Friedman, Executive Producer of the show, said in the release, "The 2003 rule change, which allows Jeopardy! players to keep playing until they're defeated, raised the question about how other five-time champions might have played under this rule. This tournament is an opportunity to give those past champions another chance to shine." On May 25, Ken Jennings finished second in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, winning half a million dollars but has been replaced as the number one overall winner of money on a gameshow by Brad Rutter, the two million dollar winner of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. The three-day finals concluded the event on May 23, May 24, and May 25.
The tournament was taped in early 2005 and the tournament began airing on February 9. Guaranteed prize money will be offered to all contestants. The Ultimate Tournament of Champions offered a substantial purse, with a grand prize of $2,000,000 to the winner, $500,000 for second, and $250,000 for third. This equaled a total of 145 players, including Jennings.
It featured Tournament of Champions Champions, College Championship, and Teen Tournament winners from the show's 21-year run, as well as over 100 undefeated five-time champions. On December 28, 2004, Sony sent out press release announcing their 15-week, 75-show, Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Work on the series will begin summer 2005 with a launch date set for late 2005 or 1st qtr 2006. According to Comedy Central execs, Jennings would co-host and participate but would not elaborate any further on the show’s format.
According to Variety.com (‘Trivia titan gets series’, 5/23/05) Ken Jennings and Michael Davies (Who Wants to be a Millionaire & Win Ben Stein's Money) are teaming up as executive producers on a new game show format for Comedy Central. Combined with a ten percent tithe, this would leave him approximately $1,230,430 to use for other purposes. H&R Block senior vice president David Byers estimated that Jennings would owe approximately $1.04 million in taxes on his winnings. Taking advantage of its fame over the crucial clue, H&R Block offered Jennings free financial services for the rest of his life.
Jeopardy! contestants typically receive their winnings approximately 120 days after their last game airs in the form of a check. When asked what he intended to do with his winnings, Jennings said that he intends to tithe ten percent to his church, donate to public television and National Public Radio, go on a trip to Europe, and invest the rest for his family. On May 24th, 2005, Comedy Central announced that Jennings would be the host of a new comedic quiz show to replace the cancelled Chappelle's Show". A&E aired on December 1, 2004 an episode of the Biography television program on Jennings and other Jeopardy! notables, including Frank Spangenberg and Eddie Timanus.
TV Guide featured a segment of "The Top Ten TV Moments of 2004," in which Ken Jennings' loss placed third. While on his media tour following his final game, Jennings taped a segment for a future episode of Sesame Street. Barbara Walters selected Jennings as one of the "Ten Most Fascinating People of 2004" for her twelfth annual ABC News special, which aired on December 8, 2004. news programming and on Nightline.
Jennings appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to present Letterman's "Top Ten List." He appeared again on the program on the night his final show was televised, in addition to interview segments airing that night on local 11 p.m. it's not like Millionaire.". During that guest appearance, Jennings said that, "Jeopardy! is a man's game .. There Jennings revealed that he had failed to qualify for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, also hosted by Regis Philbin.
After his 31st win on Jeopardy!, during the summer break between tapings, Jennings made a guest appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly. Jennings has received a good deal of American media coverage. Jeopardy! ratings went up 62 percent during his run on the show (11.1 million viewers was a ten-year high); for three weeks in July 2004 and for most of the latter part of Jennings's run, it surpassed traditional leader Wheel of Fortune to become television's highest-rated syndicated program. Jennings's winning streak on Jeopardy! has made him something of a celebrity.
On December 1, the show broke with tradition by having Jennings make a "guest appearance" at the start of the broadcast, during which host Alex Trebek acknowledged his success and enumerated the various game show records he'd broken. Along the way, Jennings defeated at least three contestants who are current quiz bowl players; in fact, according to a Washington Post article, at least one fellow NAQT employee was selected to appear on the show during Jennings' run (but, as someone with more than a casual acquaintance with Jennings, could not compete against him because of standards and practices rules). Zerg was defeated the following day, finishing in third place with $2, while Jennings' running time period totaled 182 calendar days, including his first and last appearances. Most who saw the show would say this assessment was in keeping with his genial personality, since Zerg never appeared to be a serious contender until Jennings stumbled in the second half.
Jennings reported in an interview that the loss was "no fluke" and that Zerg was a formidable opponent. Immediately after she won, Alex Trebek dubbed her a "giant-killer" for her accomplishment of finally beating the long-standing champ. Zerg answered correctly, and she and Jennings shook hands and hugged as the audience gave the two of them a standing ovation. Jennings's final total, along with his second-place money, was $2,522,700.
The Final Jeopardy category was "Business and Industry"; the clue was: "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year." The correct response was: "What is H&R Block?"; Jennings responded with "what is FedEx?". But Jennings proved to be his own worst enemy by 'missing' both Double Jeopardy! Daily Double questions (on which he had placed his usual high wagers) and the Final Jeopardy! question. The third contestant, David Hankins, completed the Double Jeopardy round with a negative amount and was not allowed to participate in Final Jeopardy. On November 30, 2004, Jennings' long reign as Jeopardy! champion finally came to an end when he lost his 75th game to challenger Nancy Zerg, who initially did not appear to be a threat to the champion.
In theory, if Jennings had remained undefeated though the 2005-2006 season, there wouldn’t be a tournament of Champions for that season, because Jennings would be the sole champion. Since he did not lose before the 2004 Tournament was taped (which then aired from September 20 through October 1), he will have to wait until the 2005-06 season to compete in the Tournament of Champions. Jennings's run began with the episode aired on Monday, June 2, 2004, and spanned two seasons. After this rule change, and until Jennings' run, the record winning streak was set by Tom Walsh, who won $186,900 ($184,900 in his winning episodes) in eight games in January 2004.
At the beginning of the show's 20th season (in 2003), the rules were changed to allow contestants to remain on the show as long as they continued to win. Prior to 2003, Jeopardy! contestants were limited to five consecutive games. He and his wife Mindy have a son named Dylan. He was a software engineer for CHG, a healthcare-placement firm.
He also writes questions and edits the literature and mythology categories for the National Academic Quiz Tournaments (NAQT), a quiz bowl organization. Now residing in Murray, Utah (a suburb of Salt Lake City), Jennings identifies himself as an avid comic book and movie buff with a website listing his top 2000 favorite movies. He served a two-year mission in Madrid, Spain from 1993 to 1995. Jennings is a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jennings graduated with a degree in computer science and English at Brigham Young University, where he played on the school's quiz bowl team for three years. He completed an International Baccalaureate diploma at Seoul Foreign School, and achieved honors at both Brigham Young and the University of Washington. He watched Jeopardy! on the American Forces Network television while growing up. Born in Edmonds, Washington, Jennings grew up in Seoul, South Korea (1981–1992) and Singapore (1992–1996), where his father worked for an international law firm and then as Asia Pacific Division Counsel of Oracle Corporation. Jennings held the record for most winnings on any game show ever played until the end of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions on May 25, 2005, when he was displaced by Brad Rutter.
His total winnings on Jeopardy! are $3,022,700 ($2,520,700 during his original run, and $500,000 in the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions). 74 games before he was defeated by Nancy Zerg on his 75th appearance. He will often say "What's...?" instead of "What is...?". When guessing, he would phrase his responses in such a way as to make it clear he was in doubt of the answer himself, and openly expressed surprise when he gave the correct response.
He often shook his head in disbelief when his total cash winnings were announced at the start of each episode/game. Jennings has only made three other attempts to break Weikle's $52,000 record (in his 30th, 39th, and 65th games), but incorrect Final Jeopardy! responses prevented him from succeeding. On his 71st game, he broke the record a second time with a win of $55,099. However, in his 38th game, Jennings entered Final Jeopardy with a total only $600 shy of the record (and, in fact, had exceeded the record in the Double Jeopardy round before missing a question at the end), and beat it with a final total of $75,000.
Prior to his 30th game, Jennings did not want to beat the $52,000 single-day record of former five-day champion Brian Weikle just "for the sake of beating it" (from the Jeopardy! forums). He intentionally tied his record three times. Host Alex Trebek commented on this several times, and he even occasionally guessed what wager Jennings would make. On Final Jeopardy and the Daily Doubles he almost always wagered an amount that could bring his total to a multiple of $5,000 or $1,000. He often pronounced foreign words, phrases, or locations with an accent.
Also, he supposedly keeps a little piece of a fan's "popo" (pillow) in his coat pocket. He kept a plush "Totoro" toy, from the movie My Neighbor Totoro in his pocket, as a good luck charm. Each day he wrote his name in a different way, with styles ranging from simple (such as cursive script or block letters) to artistic (such as dots or a bas relief outline).