Brad Rutter challenged by ‘Watson’ computer in ‘Jeopardy!’ is a winner for public libraries!

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Originally appeared as a Press Release, February 18, 2011

Brad Rutter, all-time money-winning champion of ‘Jeopardy!’ along with fellow champion Ken Jennings, faced off in a three-day competition against IBM’s new super computer,’ Watson’. As predicted, Watson took the first-place honors, while the two human competitors finished in his wake. All competitors, however, earned handsome prize monies that will benefit charitable organizations of their choice. Rutter‘s earnings during the event were $200,000. $100,000 of his winnings will be donated to the Bradford G. Rutter Fund at the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Rutter, 33, is a Manheim Township (Lancaster County) graduate and long-time public library user earned the distinction as all-time ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion in 2005. He credits his record-breaking success on ‘Jeopardy!’ to a passion for reading that started with his early visits to the public library. So it seemed natural for Brad to name public libraries in his hometown as beneficiaries of his success. In 2007 Brad set up a donor-designated fund with the Lancaster County Community Foundation. His intention was to have the fund support public libraries in the purchase of technology that would enhance library services countywide. He sees funding of library services as a way to give back to the community, which will benefit other young readers and library users, “I am proud to have the benefit of ever-changing, improving technology to assist readers of all ages at the libraries.” He foresees technology programs as keeping libraries on the cutting edges as essential community resources.

About his generosity to public libraries, he states, “I want to experience the impact of my giving now, while I’m young and while I can see the results.”