LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 won $22,000.
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? The novel and film was “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.”
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.