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Winnipeg librarian wins big on Jeopardy


This Winnipegger walked away tens of thousands of dollars richer after a winning streak on Jeopardy.

Who is Emma Hill Kepron, the local librarian whose two-game winning spree came to an exciting conclusion Monday?

After bagging two decisive victories, her run came to a close during the Final Jeopardy category of U.S. Geography.

“I knew it was going to be something American that got me in the end,’” she joked during a phone interview Tuesday with CTV News Winnipeg.

Hill Kepron’s road to the iconic game show began with a test on Jeopardy’s website. After passing with flying colours, she auditioned for producers via Zoom.

She got the call right before Christmas that she had been tapped to compete on the show.

Hill Kepron, who has been watching Jeopardy! since she was a teen, trained by practising ringing in with a clicker pen, and studied categories like the state capitals and the periodic table.

“I didn’t end up needing things like that, after all," she said.

She flew to Los Angeles in February, and filmed her three episodes over two days.

Her categories ranged from American Lit to Greek History to Beatles Songs.

She’s still kicking herself for missing some answers owing to brain lapses or simply ringing in too late.

“The Strawberry Fields question was annoying because it was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't get there.”

She headed into Monday’s fateful Final Jeopardy round in first place, with Arkansas-based development director Dillon Hupp trailing just $500 behind.

The category - U.S. Geography. The question– ‘Interstate 25 connects these two state capitals, 1st and 2nd in elevation and in between runs through No. 3, Denver.’

She ultimately finished second after wagering $7,000 on an incorrect and incomplete answer - ‘what is Cheyenne and Salt Lake Ci-‘.

Hupp capitalized with the right answer (what are Cheyenne and Santa Fe?), and was crowned the new champ.

Now that all her episodes have aired, she’s happy not to have to keep her big game show secret anymore.

“I held on to it for so long that I started to wonder if it had even happened. Was it even real?” she said. “It was very, very hard not to tell some people.”

She ultimately won $28,000 USD. She hasn’t figured out how she’ll spend the money. A trip and some home landscaping work are in the cards.

“It’s going to be the backyard that Jeopardy built,” she laughed.

Above all, Hill Kepron, who is associate dean of the University of Winnipeg Library, said she was heartened by the support she received from colleagues and friends during her thrilling run.

“Everyone’s been so excited for me, and they’ve all been sharing it on social media and all that,” she said. “It’s been super fun to have so much excitement around it.”

- With files from CTV’s Kayla Rosen and Rachel Lagacé Top Stories

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