University of Winnipeg librarian becomes 2-time Jeopardy! champion with $26K in winnings

A Winnipeg librarian secured a second victory on Jeopardy! on Friday, racking up a total of $26,000 in winnings over two days.

Emma Hill Kepron, who is the associate dean of the University of Winnipeg’s library, says advice from the game show’s producers helped her buzz in for big bucks.

“The producers tell you to … [use] a clicky pen to practise [for using] your signaling button,” she told host Faith Fundal in an interview the CBC Manitoba’s Up to Speed on Thursday, before her first appearance on the show aired.

“I did pretty well with my clicky button, and I did study a little bit, but not too much,” said the self-described trivia nerd and longtime Jeopardy! fan.

Hill Kepron said she went in with some idea of what to expect, since she’d read online about other contestants’ experiences.

A strategically low wager in the game-ending Final Jeopardy segment helped the librarian clinch her first win on Thursday, when a clue about a 1992 novel stumped all three contestants and knocked out the lead competitor, who had made a larger wager.

Hill Kepron went into Friday’s game with a total earnings of $11,400, but things looked bleak for her following that game’s first round, when she sat in last place with $0.

But a movies category and landing on a Daily Double helped her build her total up during the second round, and Hill Kepron headed into Friday’s Final Jeopardy with $12,100, and a $100 lead over the second-place contestant.

The Winnipegger successfully answered Friday’s final clue about historic groups, which involved the praetorian guard — an elite group of personal bodyguards for Roman emperors.

She wagered enough money to keep her in the lead, and her third appearance on the show will air Monday.

‘A total blast’

Hill Kepron travelled to Los Angeles in February to tape the show, and said “strict compartmentalization” helped her keep it a secret until this week.

“Only a few people knew,” she said. “My husband knew because he was there with me, and I told my dad and my brother, and that was about it.”

But it was hardest not to tell her trivia team — “Bed, Bath and Beyoncé” — about her run on Jeopardy!

“I just told everybody last week, so some of them lost their minds,” she said, adding that she has received immense support from her colleagues. The University of Winnipeg cheered on the librarian in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Up To Speed5:23A Winnipeg librarian will be watching HERSELF compete on Jeopardy! tonight.

I’ll take local librarians on Jeopardy for one-thousand… Faith Fundal speaks to Winnipeg librarian Emma Hill Kepron about competing on Jeopardy!

She has been hosting watch parties for friends and family, and said she looks forward to their reactions to her appearance on the show the most.

Hill Kepron says her time on Jeopardy! went by quickly and she’s already forgotten some of it, so watching herself on TV will be like experiencing it for the first time again.

But overall, Hill Kepron said the experience of being on the game show “was a total blast.”

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