Ken Jennings Ken Jennings

Big-time Jeopardy! winners Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter will have some stiff competition when they return to face an IBM supercomputer.

Graduate student breaks Jeopardy record

IBM scientists have been working for two years to create a computer program that could compete on the game show. The machine, dubbed "Watson" after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson Sr., will play against Jennings and Rutter in three episodes to air Feb 14—16, the show and IBM announced Tuesday.

The grand prize will be $1 million, which will go to charity if Watson wins. If either Jennings or Rutter comes out on top, half the money will be given away.

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Jennings, 36, earned the record for the highest American game show winnings in 2004 after 75 straight Jeopardy! appearances. Rutter, 32, surpassed Jennings' cumulative winnings, when he defeated him in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions in 2005 and totaled nearly $3.3 million in prize money.

 "We're thrilled that Jeopardy! is considered a benchmark of ultimate knowledge," said Harry Friedman, the show's executive producer.