Emma Boettcher, the University of Chicago librarian who ended James Holzhauer’s 32-game winning streak on Monday’s “Jeopardy!,” auditioned for the show four times before receiving the fateful call to compete.
When the 27-year-old showed up to tape at the “Jeopardy!” studio in California back in March, she hadn’t heard of Holzhauer. But neither had the rest of America — his first win did not air until April 4.
“It’s been remarkable as a fan to have watched his run,” Boettcher told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s been nice having watched the show for so long and to feel like I’ve kind of made my mark on the ‘Jeopardy!’ history in that way.”
Boettcher won again Tuesday night, kicking off her own winning streak. On Wednesday, she will face off against a high school social studies teacher from New Jersey and an education policy analyst from Washington, D.C.
Before her third episode airs, get to know the “Jeopardy!” history maker:
• The first time Boettcher auditioned for “Jeopardy!” was in high school.
• She is a long-time “Jeopardy!” viewer and, for the last five years, has been tracking her scores at home in a notebook.
• To prepare for her appearance on “Jeopardy!”, Boettcher stood several feet away from her television, pretending she was standing on the show’s set. She used a toilet-paper holder as a stand-in for the buzzer and tested out different shoes to find the most comfortable pair.
• Boettcher, who won $46,801 in her first show, plans to use the money to pay off her student loans and give back to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, where she got her master’s degree in information science in 2016.
• Her master’s thesis explored if certain characteristics of a “Jeopardy!” clue could predict its difficulty level. Boettcher said she wanted to determine whether or not a computer could predict if a clue was easy or difficult based on the words used or the length of the clue. She concluded, among other things, that the number of component phrases in a clue could help a computer predict its difficulty level.
• She was “delighted” to see the final clue was about William Shakespeare’s era — Boettcher wrote her undergraduate theses on Shakespeare’s plays when she was at Princeton University.