The Streak Is Over For Jeopardy's Second-Biggest Winner07:39

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The streak has ended for "Jeopardy Julia" — the 31-year-old Chicago-area woman who won 20 "Jeopardy!" games in a row. Julia Collins was vanquished last night after accumulating more than $400,000 in winnings and enjoying the second-longest streak in Jeopardy! history and the longest streak ever for a woman contestant.

The question that eventually took her down, reducing her day's winnings to zero, was "This New England writer is the last person to win an Oscar for adapting his own novel." Collins talks to Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about her winning strategies and her preparation for the show.

Interview Highlights: Julia Collins

On betting it all in her last Final Jeopardy question

"If I had to do it again, I might not have bet quite so much. But, you know, I'd never been in second place going into Final Jeopardy before. The 20 games before that, I'd been in first place, and so this was kind of new territory for me. And I know there's the right ways and the wrong ways to wager in that kind of situation, and I picked what I think a lot of people would consider the wrong way. I think of it as the 'Ricky Bobby: Talladega Nights' approach: if you're not first, you're last. But, you know, I went into Final Jeopardy every day thinking, 'I'm gonna get the question right, I'm gonna know the right response,' and yesterday was no different. And, you know, some days I did and some days I didn't, and, you know, unfortunately for me, I didn't know the answer, and then Brian [Loughnane], who is the new champion, he did. And it kind of didn't matter that I bet it all, because he was gonna win with the right answer regardless. You know, he was in first place, he bet to win, he bet to have more than double my money, and that was kind of what I expected him to do. You know, congratulations to him. That's how it goes."

On why she didn't use Arthur Chu's controversial playing strategy

"I just didn't think it was that important. I'd be curious to know how many Daily Doubles he found, percentage wise, compared to how many I found. I would be surprised if it was a huge difference, although I could be wrong about that. My strategy was to hit the buzzer first and get the answer right. If you're in control of the board, you're in control of the board, no matter how you go about it."

On being the winningest female contestant in "Jeopardy!" history

"It's pretty exciting, although I think I'm a lot more excited about being in second place. Being second to Ken Jennings, 74 games, is no sorry second place, so I think I'm more excited about that."


  • Julia Collins, resident of Kenilworth, Illinois, who has the second-longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history. She tweets @JeopardyJulia.

This segment aired on June 3, 2014.

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