AP NEWS

Longmont Teacher to Compete in First Team Tournament on “Jeopardy!”

February 18, 2019
Jennifer Giles, a third-grade teacher at Longmont's Columbine Elementary, is pictured with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Giles this week will be making her third appearance on the show.

If you watch

What: “Jeopardy!” All-Star Games

When: Episode airs at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Channel: KDVR Fox 31

More info: Visit jeopardy.com to see contestant profiles and watch a preview.

They say third time’s a charm. But does that work if you’ve won twice before?

Viewers will find out Wednesday when Longmont elementary teacher Jennifer Giles makes her third appearance on “Jeopardy!” for the show’s first-ever team competition.

Giles, who teaches third grade at Columbine Elementary, is competing in the All-Star Games on a team with nine-game champion Buzzy Cohen and six-game champion Alex Jacob. Six teams of former champions are competing for a $1 million grand prize, but even the losing team will get to split a smaller amount of cash.

“I was so honored,’” Giles said. “I know that’s a cheesy word to throw around, but like seriously, you’re gonna have Ken Jennings ... and you want Jen Giles?”

Ken Jennings has the longest winning streak in “Jeopardy!” history after winning 74 games — and $3.4 million.

Giles previously won the 2015 Teachers Tournament . She also was a quarterfinalist in the 2015 Tournament of Champions .

Giles wasn’t nervous for the Teachers Tournament, she said. It was less about winning the money and more about seeing how many questions she could answer.

“I just had, I think, really good luck ” she said.

At the Tournament of Champions, there were a few more nerves.

Now, for the All-Star Games, she is focused on competing well for her teammates. Fortunately, Cohen’s and Jacob’s confidence is “contagious,” she said.

She also took up a training routine for this championship.

“I personally never really did anything” to train, Giles said, but her teammates told her their strategies — which involved “so many flashcards” — and she now feels prepared.

At one point, Cohen and Jacob came to Denver and the three played practice “Jeopardy!” games.

“I think we played 51 games,” Giles said. “I’ve trained harder for this than any other tournament.”

While the tournament was taped in January, it is still a mystery as to who will win. Giles’ team is one of the first up, so those games will air starting Wednesday.

As to how she knows so much, Giles has one piece of advice: “Just read. Read books people.”

Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, mstamour@prairiemountainmedia.com