Jennings will preside over the show on an interim basis, the first in a series of guest hosts "from within the 'Jeopardy!' family" until a permanent replacement is named, Sony Pictures Television announced Monday.
"Alex believed in the importance of Jeopardy! and always said that he wanted the show to go on after him".
Jennings, who is the all-time winningest games show contestant in American history at $4,522,700, joined the show on a semi-regular basis earlier this year.
"There will only ever be one Alex Trebek, but I'm honored to be helping Jeopardy! out with this in January".
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Champion Ken Jennings is going to succeed the late Alex Trebek as "Jeopardy!" host - at least in the short term. Trebek did not know the last show he recorded - taped October 29, 10 days before his death - would be his last episode.
Boasting an impressive 8,200 shows 37 seasons, Trebek is the Guinness World Record holder for hosting the most episodes of a single game show. The long-time game show host gave audiences health updates during episodes, thanking fans and contestants for their well wishes. It is still airing shows that Trebek filmed before his death.
The announcement also featured a statement from executive producer Mike Richards. Other names, including Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos, have been floated as potential new hosts. "That's all I need to say goodbye, because it's going to be the last show'".
This image released by JEOPARDY! shows Ken Jennings, a 74-time champion the the set of the popular quiz show.