Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Emma Boettcher, a 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian, unseated Naperville, Ill., native James Holzhauer as “Jeopardy!” champion on Monday’s episode as Holzhauer came close to beating the $2.52 million Ken Jennings earned during his 2004 winning streak.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Boettcher has worked at the University of Chicago as a user experience resident librarian since August 2016. She focuses on faculty and student experiences with the university’s library services.
Boettcher, whose family hails from a community outside of Philadelphia, also worked as a library account manager at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she said she received her master’s degree in information science in 2016. Her master’s paper for that degree — “Predicting the Difficulty of Trivia Questions Using Text Features” — relied on “Jeopardy!” clues.
She got her bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton in 2014. She auditioned for the “Jeopardy!” College Championship while at Princeton, according to a 2014 article in the Daily Princetonian. Her friend made the cut.
“She’s such a perfect candidate for the show because she’s obviously incredibly smart and also very personable,” Boettcher told the college newspaper about her friend. “Sometimes you get kind of arrogant people in Jeopardy that are just obsessed with showing off how smart they are, and Terry’s not like that all.”
Boettcher and her family did not return Tribune requests for comment. She recently told The New York Times that she has watched “Jeopardy!” for years and documented her scores in a notebook. She kept track of how many times she correctly answered the clues and “Daily Doubles.”
“I knew going in that Daily Double hunting was something that I could do and feel confident doing,” she said. “I don’t need to be cautious around that.”
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