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 (35)
  • AlexandraBlueQ4
    6/03/2014 - 11:27 a.m.

    Julia did awesome in Jeopardy and considering that she is a women says a lot. Also the question that stumped her was a pretty hard one I mean even I can't answer even a quarter of those questions so go Julia!

    • AmeliaBlueQ4
      6/03/2014 - 04:42 p.m.

      You sound like an interesting person I don't think I would be able to answer those questions either they are pretty hard and it does say a lot considering she is a woman and all my moms name is julia aswell

    • AmeliaBlueQ4
      6/03/2014 - 04:43 p.m.

      You sound like an interesting person I don't think I would be able to answer those questions either they are pretty hard and it does say a lot considering she is a woman and all my moms name is julia aswell

  • BraydenSilverQ4
    6/03/2014 - 11:53 a.m.

    I don't watch jeopardy but I know it's a difficult game. And to win 20 games in a row is incredible! Wow, I was also very surprised to see that someone in the past had won 74 straight! I can hardly comprehend that.

  • Maggie3-22-02
    6/03/2014 - 04:49 p.m.

    I think it is really neat that she won all of that money just by being smart. It is amazing that she won that many times in a row.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    6/03/2014 - 06:43 p.m.

    I think that this woman is really lucky to win that much money. I think that she had to work really hard to get all that money. I think that she is a good question answerer because she had won that much money for just asking some questions. I think that she can be a better person one day in her life. I think that she can become a successful person when they have to answer some questions in someplace.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    6/03/2014 - 08:23 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing she was able to get $428,100 from jeopardy. I think that she is lucky to be able to get $428,100. I think that it is almost impossible to get that much money from just playing jeopardy and also asking questions. I think that I should be able to do jeopardy and asking questions too so that I can get all that money.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why is it significant that Julia is female? Should any importance be attached to her gender?
    Answer: It is significant that Julia is a female because women now get less money than men. I think that her gender shows that women can get that much money as well.

  • davidb-ZDE
    6/03/2014 - 11:10 p.m.

    It is significant that Julia is female because she ranks in the top three for winnings and number two for consecutive wins. Importance should be attached to her gender because at the beginning of the article it mentioned that women were not as good at Jeopardy as men.

  • brianna5k3
    6/04/2014 - 10:36 a.m.

    wow that's amazing 20 wins I didn't think that possible my grandma watched jeopardy and I thought If I ever played I would freeze.

  • RICHARDC-ZDE
    6/04/2014 - 12:02 p.m.

    Man, winning Jeopardy 20 times is a real accomplishment. Maybe Julia Collins can put that on her resume when she applies for a job, knowing that she didn't make money from the last Jeopardy episode, she might have budget issues. Keep it up Julia, you must be very intelligent to even have won Jeopardy, especially 20 times. You can't always be on top; after all, there is always a 2nd place.

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