Jeopardy Champ Stumped by H&R Block Question; Block Seizes Marketing Opportunity

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Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings' $2.5 million winning streak came to an ironic end last night when he failed to answer his final question regarding . . . a tax preparation firm.

The "Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year" question stumped Jennings, but a quick marketing opportunity surfaced for tax preparation firm H&R Block.

The nation's largest tax services firm has offered Jennings a lifetime of free tax and financial services.

The need for financial planning and sound tax advice are crucial any time an individual or a family experiences any type of life change, and in Jennings' case, being the all-time record holder for winning the most money on a game show, it will certainly come in handy.

According to H&R Block tax professionals, Jennings could expect to pay nearly half of his total winnings in taxes, therefore protecting the remainder of his winnings is critical. For instance, Jennings can minimize his future tax liabilities by opening a 529 account for education purposes, or opening tax deferrable individual retirement accounts. Charitable giving strategies could also reduce his tax liabilities. Through smart financial planning, Jennings' winnings can provide additional income for him and his family.

“I plan to use my winnings to pursue other opportunities, such as going back to school to earn a PhD,” said Jennings. “Protecting the money I've won and growing it will allow me to do some of the things I've always wanted to do, but haven't had the financial freedom to accomplish.”

H&R Block understands that “life happens,” but being prepared can make the most of a specific life change. You don't have to win millions on a game show to need tax and financial help. Common, everyday changes like marriage, retirement or the birth of a child all warrant a review of a person's tax and financial situation.

“We look at this as a ‘win/win' opportunity. With this offer there is no Final Jeopardy for Jennings,” said David Byers, senior vice president of H&R Block. “We have helped more than 407 million clients in our 50-year history to find tax and financial solutions that best suit their needs, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to carry on that tradition with Jennings.”

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