Ken Jennings and Mindy Jennings have been married since 2000
Before he found fame because of his trivia knowledge, Ken Jennings found love.
The Jeopardy! contestant turned host has been married to his college sweetheart Mindy Jennings since 2000, years before he began breaking records on the game show. While they attended Brigham Young University together, she says that he didn’t love giving off the impression that he was an intellectual.
"He mostly wanted people to know he was funny," she told Buzzfeed in 2013. "He's not the type of person who wants you to know he knows everything."
After nearly two decades in the spotlight, Ken has only shared snippets of his home life with his wife and their children, Dylan and Caitlin, even after becoming a host of the show where he holds a record for the longest winning streak.
So who is Ken Jennings’ wife? Here’s everything to know about Mindy Jennings and her relationship with the TV host.
She met Ken in college
Ken and Mindy met while attending Brigham Young University in Utah. Ken was pursuing a double major in English and computer science, while Mindy Boam was a theater major.
However, the couple didn’t start dating right after their first meeting. After announcing to Mindy’s roommate his intention to ask her out, it took him nine months to do so.
She used to be a preschool teacher
The couple got engaged while at BYU, and graduated together in 2000 before tying the knot later that year on Sept. 16. After graduating, Mindy worked as a preschool teacher.
They are private about their relationship
Despite her high-profile husband, Mindy has not made any public appearances with Ken over the years. While Ken is active on X (formerly known as Twitter), Mindy doesn’t have any public social media accounts and doesn’t appear in photos on her husband’s account.
She’s a mom of two
Ken and Mindy share two children together, son Dylan born in 2002 and daughter Caitlin born in 2006. But just as the couple have kept their relationship out of the spotlight, they’ve also kept their kids private.
However, he shared a rare photo in October 2022 of his son Dylan along with an update on his life. The Jeopardy! host shared an image of his older child wearing a Seattle Mariners baseball jersey at a ball game. He is seen holding a tray of stadium food and giving the camera a thumbs up.
"The last time his team made it to the playoffs, this guy wasn't born yet. He just started his sophomore year of college. Congrats @Mariners!" the father of two wrote.
Though Jennings doesn’t frequently share photos or updates of his kids with fans, he has given some insight into his parenting style, and shared what surprised him most about becoming a dad.
“The constant change: People tend to remember their childhood as a constant, steady state, but when you see a kid from a parent's eye, you realize there’s a new interest or a new quirk every few weeks,” Ken told Yahoo! Life in 2021. “It’s eye-opening how your own perception of childhood maybe isn't that accurate. You need to be ready for your kid to have a new challenge or obsession monthly — or more.”
He explained, “Parenting is always a moving target: you’re really just responding to the current needs of the kid, which might be different [needs] than six months ago. So it’s a lot of listening, because the kid will tell you what you need — but it’s not going to be what you expect and it's not what you remember you needing at their age.”
She was supportive of Ken trying out for Jeopardy!
Ken, Mindy and their baby boy Dylan were living in Salt Lake City when he first auditioned for Jeopardy! in 2003. At the time, he was working at a healthcare staffing company as a software engineer, and he had the support of Mindy through it all.
“My wife was all right with it,” he told Vulture. “We had been married for about four years at that point, my son had just been born, and we had recently moved into our starter home.”
He continued winning on the show, taping a few episodes at a time in Los Angeles and returning home to his wife and son. But despite signing an NDA, he kept Mindy in the loop about his progress during each L.A. visit.
“I told my boss at work because I didn’t want to get fired, and my wife knew because I didn’t want to get divorced,” he joked. “She was always my first call when I got back to the Sony parking garage.”
“But none of my friends, family, or co-workers knew why I was sneaking away a few times a month,” Ken added.
Ken makes sure they have alone time
Ken does his best to be intentional with his time, especially given his busy schedule, and that includes making sure he has time set aside for Mindy.
He told Yahoo! Life, “When you work from home, you have to be intentional about creating a schedule. I’ll say these are the office hours, these are the home hours — even though the office is 10 feet away — [and I’ll] make sure there's a schedule for Mom and Dad to be alone too.”
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