Nancy Zerg

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The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority.
John C. Calhoun
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Nancy Zerg, Jeopardy! game show contestant who beat Ken Jennings, the show's longest-running winner


  • "Someone's got to beat him sometime, it might as well be me."
  • "[A Jeopardy! game] goes so fast. It's like being on a roller coaster: you strap in and the game starts flying. ...I never thought [Ken] was vulnerable. I just was focused on trying to get as many correct answers as possible."
  • "I was thinking that, as good as he is [and] the more he won, the more intimidated other people became, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was just the best player, and other people would walk up and say, 'Oh, no, I'm playing Ken,' and they would lose the game before they ever started. So, I kept thinking somebody is going to beat him sometime. I'm going to try."
  • "One of the other contestants said to me, 'You're going to be on a "Trivial Pursuit" card!"
  • "'I heard another one say, 'It's no great sin to lose to Ken Jennings,' and they went in and lost to Ken Jennings. I thought, 'That's no way to play the game.'"
  • "It's not because things fell the right way. It's because he's that good."
    • on Ken

Quotes about Zerg

  • "You are indeed a giant killer."
    • Alex Trebek, after reading the Final Jeopardy! totals
  • "It was very exciting. I'm very happy for her. She was well deserving. Everyone was ecstatic. She's just a very well-liked person in the office."
    • Bob Harrison, regional manager at Troop Real Estate (the company Zerg works for)
  • "She's a great gal. She's very, very good with people, very professional. People always make favorable comments about her."