Jeopardy!’ Champion Julia Collins Says Watching ‘The Simpsons’ Prepared Her for the Competition

Landing a coveted spot as a contestant on Jeopardy! is no easy feat. Thanks to the iconic game show’s popularity, the application process is very detailed and highly competitive. It’s not uncommon for Jeopardy! winners to try out for the program numerous times before getting an opportunity to test their knowledge in front of host Alex Trebek. 

Everyone prepares a little differently for an appearance on the show. Some recreate the game at home, and others study up on trivia. Jeopardy! champion Julia Collins found it useful watching The Simpsons. Keep reading to learn why Collins found the Emmy Award-winning sitcom a helpful tool on her road to Jeopardy! success. 

Alex Trebek speaks at a 'Jeopardy!' press conference
Alex Trebek at a Jeopardy! press conference | Ben Hider/Getty Images

Julia Collins wins 20 games of ‘Jeopardy!’

Collins is among the best players ever to grace the game show’s iconic set. A supply chain professional from Illinois, she first appeared on Jeopardy! as a contestant in 2014. Buzzing in and answering clue after clue, Collins won 20 consecutive games before losing. In doing so, she set a record and secured herself a spot in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame

Today she ranks third in Jeopardy! contestants to win the most games in a row. She’s behind two other famous Jeopardy! champions, James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings. Holzhauer is in second place with 32 games, and Jennings is in first with 74 games. 

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Thanks to her great run, Collins also has the distinction of being one of the highest-earning Jeopardy! players. When her 20-game streak ended, she’d made $428,100. And when she returned for tournaments, she racked up even more prize money, putting her total earnings to $478, 100. 

She learns a lot of facts from ‘The Simpsons’ 

After winning 20 games in a row, Collins participated in several interviews about her time on the program. In a June 2014 phone interview with HuffPost TV, she shared how The Simpsons became a valuable source of information. 

“There’s a lot of stuff I know from The Simpsons, which is a very silly place to learn stuff but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bad fact from there,” she said. 

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Want to appear on the iconic game show but don’t want to study the traditional way? Take Collins’ advice and watch The Simpsons. The long-running sitcom is filled with pop culture references and facts. 

Collins’ biggest takeaway: “Try to learn things any way you can.” So, don’t rule anything out. 

‘Jeopardy!’ producer says watching the game show is ‘the ultimate study guide’

Another way to study for the program is to simply watch it. This suggestion comes from Jeopardy! producer Maggie Speak. She opened up about what it means to be a great contestant on the official Jeopardy! website. Her tip? Watch the show. 

Sure, players have to be “well-rounded,” but the best shot at becoming a winner and earning prize money, in her opinion, is to get to know the show. 

“The best way to become familiar with the categories is to watch the show as often as possible. It’s the ultimate study guide,” she said. 

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She went on, saying it will give contestants a better understanding of the Jeopardy! writing staff who come up with categories and clues for every game board. 

“Some of our categories are easier to understand than others,” she said. “Watching regularly will keep you up to date with how our writers’ minds work.”

Sitting down to watch Jeopardy! or The Simpsons can’t guarantee a game show win, but it certainly makes for an interesting way of studying. 

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