(FOX19) - Benjamin Ingram, a 30-year-old IT consultant from Lake Wylie, S.C., won his eighth consecutive game of JEOPARDY! on Wednesday, bringing his total prize money to $176,534.
Ingram's streak is one of the show's longest; three previous players have also won eight games, while only four have exceeded that number: Ken Jennings (74), Dave Madden (19), and Jason Keller and Dan Pawson (nine each).
"I've enjoyed watching the great champions compete throughout the years, and I can't imagine my name being listed beside theirs," said Ingram. "I had no idea I would do so well, because I knew I was up against some very talented and competitive players every day."
Ingram had wanted to appear on JEOPARDY! since childhood and prepared for the show by practicing wagering strategy; during the game, he searched for Daily Doubles and went for high-value clues, resulting in his current six-figure total.
"When Johnny Gilbert would read my total at the beginning of each show, I thought, 'Wow, is he sure he's reading the right number?'" Ingram said. "It didn't sink in that this was real American money for a few days, and part of me still doesn't believe it."
Ingram earned a B.S. in mathematics from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., and a M.S. in mathematics from the University of South Carolina. The native South Carolinian plans to give back to his hometown of Florence, S.C., with some of his winnings.
"I'm very proud to have come from Florence," said Ingram. "I am who I am today because of a lot of great people, and this whole thing was a reflection of what they've done for me."
Tune in Thursday July 11, to see if Ingram can fend off two new challengers and continue his winning streak. JEOPARDY! airs locally at 7:30 p.m. ET on WXIX-FOX19.
For other markets, check local listings for air times.