She is the latest Hamilton County resident to win on Jeopardy! Who is Julia Kozicki of Noblesville?
On Tuesday evening, Kozicki, 42, defeated Jeopardy! champion Bhibha Das of Mount Zion, Ill. and fellow contestant Rich Beimer of Clarksville, Tenn.
“It’s been crazy, people at work and around here have been talking about it,” she said. “I got 200 texts and Facebook messages tonight (Dec. 6).”
Going into Final Jeopardy, Kozicki had a slim lead on Beimer, who was comfortably ahead of the competition midway through Double Jeopardy before betting $20,000 on a Daily Double.
“When he was way ahead it was certainly disappointing,” said Kozicki. “If he gets it we are done and he didn’t.”
After Beimer’s miss Kozicki took control of the game by answering four of the five questions in the HUD secretaries category and secured her win by correctly answering the last question with a smile on her face.
“I did not have a moment’s hesitation on the Final Jeopardy question,” she said. “You have a lot of time to think about your wager during the commercial break. I had bet $1 more than him if he got it.”
The money Kozicki won will not be sent to her until 120 days after the show aired. Kozicki said her earnings will be used to pay off bills and for family travel plans.
“Anyone looking for a lovely Christmas present will have to wait,” she said with a smile.
The 1987 Noblesville High School graduate is no stranger to televised trivia games as she competed on the school’s “Brain Game” team three of her four years. Kozicki also creates much of her trivia knowledge to playing a lot of Trivial Pursuit with her parents growing up.
Kozicki said Jeopardy! records a week’s worth of episodes (five) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then Trebek takes two weeks off before asking questions again. The episodes are recorded as they are shown during the week with a short break in between episodes for the winner to change clothes.
“It was very fun, it was interesting,” she said, adding that the rounds go quickly especially Double Jeopardy as it contains no breaks. “I was asked once if I had any brain lapses where I buzzed in and didn’t know the answer but I really couldn’t remember because it’s been two months (since the show was taped).”
Kozicki said the contestants have little interaction with Trebek besides the brief on air Q&A and after the show wraps as everyone stands together talking. Following those few minutes after the show, the contestants get their picture taken with Trebek, who asked Kozicki one final question – “What’s going on with the Colts?”