Since Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek passed away from pancreatic cancer on November 8 after 37 seasons hosting the quiz show, producers have been faced with the unenviable task of mulling his replacement. Now, Las Vegas oddsmakers have made their bets on who will take over for Trebek, and the safe money is on Jeopardy! grand champion Ken Jennings, who won a record $2,522,700 in a 74-game triumph in 2004, plus a Jeopardy G.O.A.T event earlier this year.
According to the bookmakers at sportsbettingdime.com, Jennings is an even money bet at +100 to take the spot.
In second place, it’s ABC News talking head George Stephanopoulos at +325 odds, while TV hero LeVar Burton was, at last count, in third place with +900.
These early forecasts perhaps have not taken into account how beloved Mr. Burton is in pop culture circles. He not only starred in Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation and Roots, he was a VIP guest on The Eric Andre Show and Community.
An online petition has been started to push for Burton to take over for Trebek when new season episodes are filmed next year. Trebek, even after his prognosis, continued to shoot enough episodes to fill the 2020 season.
As support Burton has mounted, he tweeted, “Even if nothing comes from it, I can’t tell how much how I appreciate all y’alls love and support!”
Other possible successors include Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Pat Sajak, Katie Couric, Jane Lynch, Wolf Blizter, Oprah, and former reality television personality Donald Trump, who is currently ranked dead last at 10,000 to one.