Woman wins $428,100 just by asking questions Julia Collins' winning streak ended with her 21st appearance on Jeopardy
Woman wins $428,100 just by asking questions
Lexile

The reign of the winningest female contestant in "Jeopardy!" history has come to an end.

Julia Collins, 31, lost during her 21st appearance on the pre-taped episode that aired Monday. The Chicago-area resident accumulated a total of $428,100 during her 20 victories on the syndicated series.

Collins was vanquished by Brian Loughnane, an investment operations manager from Scituate, Massachusetts. Collins went into the final-question showdown in second place, bet everything and lost it.

Loughnane, who is from Ireland, won $22,600.

The clue that stumped her: The New England writer who in 1999 became the last person to win an Oscar for adapting his own novel as a screenplay. She failed to answer with the correct question: Who is John Irving? His novel and film are titled "The Cider House Rules."

Monday's game overall "just didn't go my way," Collins said in a phone interview, adding, "I couldn't have loved being on the show more."

Host Alex Trebek's salute to Collins after her streak ended: "Well done, young lady."

Collins said she was glad her record might serve as an example of female achievement.

"If it helps dispel the idea that women aren't as good 'Jeopardy!' players as men, that would be great," she said. "It's good to see women being applauded for being smart."

Her winnings helped finance a dream trip to Paris, where she rented an apartment for a month. Some may fund future travel adventures, Collins said.

The management consultant, who's been enjoying a hiatus thanks to "Jeopardy!", said she plans to get back into the work world.

The previous top female player for consecutive wins was Stephanie Jass, who took seven games in a row in season 29. Collins displaced her and Larissa Kelly, who was No. 1 in total winnings with $222,597.

Collins holds the No. 2 spot for most consecutive wins behind all-time "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings. He won 74 straight games in season 21 for a total prize of $2.5 million.

She is the third-highest money winner for non-tournament play on "Jeopardy!" behind Jennings and Dave Madden, who won $430,400.

Future "Jeopardy!" contestants might want to consider her advice: Practice your buzzer technique so you can beat out your usually-knowledgeable competitors, and restrain yourself from guessing at answers.

And stay calm.

"I was more relaxed than I thought I would be" when she first played, Collins said. "I thought I was going to have a little 'deer in the headlights' experience. ... I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, not worrying about things I don't know. "

Collins will be back for the "Jeopardy!" tournament of champions next season.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it significant that Julia is female? Should any importance be attached to her gender?

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COMMENTS (28)
  • mvw18mischief
    6/04/2014 - 08:44 a.m.

    Not many Jeopardy players are female. No, the gender should not matter. Women are very smart and are sometimes smarter than some guys. Many people say men are smarter than women, but some women are smarter than guys.

  • kw12pink
    6/04/2014 - 01:04 p.m.

    I can't believe she won alot of money just by askin questions.I love jeopardy I watch it everyday with my dad. I thinks its good that a woman won usually it is a guy. but i'm happy for her.

  • 2MattV
    6/04/2014 - 09:04 p.m.

    Matt Vinup
    Mr. Grossenbacher
    Hour 5
    critical thinking challenge

    Because that she is female and it clearly states in the article "Collins said she was glad her record might serve as an example of female achievement" helps show the stereotype that men are superior to women is completely false. Yes some importance should be attached since she herself said that "If it helps dispel the idea that women aren't as good 'Jeopardy!' players as men, that would be great," in the article shows clearly that in her mind it is an achievement for women jeopardy players

  • KAYLIEC-ZDE
    6/04/2014 - 09:07 p.m.

    What an inspiring women. Jeopardy is such a hard game. You really need to have a head filled with knowledge to even be a contestant. Good for her, she truly is a person that many could look up too.

  • CHRISTOPHERQ-ZDE
    6/04/2014 - 09:12 p.m.

    An amazing feat to have reached to have been able to win 20 games in a row. The title was rather witty and did catch the eye, but it was rather purposefully misleading. The story was rather interesting speaking of all the highest win streaks achieved during the history of the game show.

  • 34313
    6/05/2014 - 11:54 a.m.

    I think all of Collin's practicing has paid off. She is a inspiration to other women and future jeopardy players. I hope she spends her money wisely.

  • nik81499@gmail.com
    6/05/2014 - 02:42 p.m.

    this would be the best thing ever, just askquestions and get a certain amount of money for each question.the only bad thing is that what if you run out of questions or you just forget where you are. alot of people in 3rd block would be millionaires from asking stupid and pointless questions

  • Deishia
    6/06/2014 - 08:01 a.m.

    Because in life men are always praised more then females. That how its been that's how it will always be.So because shes a female it wasn't real pinned as a serious situation.

  • MarissaColvin
    6/06/2014 - 08:44 a.m.

    I already knew that she would lose to the Irish guy, because she messed up on a daily double. I think that she was taking her time winning her money, causing her to eventually lose. I hope she uses her money wisely.

  • alexisnickolson0905
    6/06/2014 - 10:21 a.m.

    I agree that women should be inspired by her. Women don't get enough credit when they are really smart, and to see it get noticed would be a really good thing

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