Ken Jennings holds the record for the most wins on Jeopardy!, scoring a total of $3,172,700 after 74 victories on the show. After writing Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs and Ken Jennings’s Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days , Jennings has written a third book, Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks, out today. But even though he has millions of dollars, dozens of TV appearances, and three books under his belt, Jennings made an online appeal to find help writing his newest book. Click through to read his open letter to the Internet.
Hey, this is Ken Jennings. You may remember me from such media appearances such as “losing on Jeopardy! to an evil supercomputer” and “That one AMA that wasn’t quite as popular as the Bear Grylls one.”
My new book Maphead, about geography geekery of all kinds, comes out today (only $15 on Amazon hint hint!) but I’m actually more worried about the next book I’m writing. It’s a trivia book that sets out to prove or debunk all the nutty things that parents tell kids. Don’t sit too close to the TV! Don’t eat your Halloween candy before I check it for razor blades! Wait half an hour after lunch to go swimming! That kind of thing.
I heard all this stuff as a kid, and now that I have kids, I repeat it all back verbatim, but is it really true? Who knows? That’s the point of the book, but I’m a few dozen myths short of a book right now. Help me Reddit! You’re my only hope! If you heard any dubious parental warnings as a kid, I’d love to know. (Obviously these should be factually testable propositions, not obvious parental lies like “If you pee in the pool it’ll turn blue and everyone will know!” or “Santa Claus is real!” or “Your dad and I can’t live together anymore, but we both still love you the same!”)
If you have a new suggestion for me that actually makes it in the book, you’ll be credited by name/non-obscene Reddit handle and get a signed copy.
(This is not really an AMA, since I think those are one-to-a-customer, but I’ll try to hang out in the thread as much as I can today, given the Maphead media circus and all.)
Edited to add: I’ll keep checking back but I have to get ready for a book signing tonight (Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle! Represent!) so I’m out of here for the moment. By my count there are as many as a couple dozen new suggestions here that will probably make the cut for the book…I’ll get in touch to arrange credit. You’re the best Reddit!
While I’m being a total whore: one more time, Maphead is in stores today! Get it for the map geek you love. Or self-love. Eww.