WILMETTE, Ill. (WEAU) At thirteen days and counting, Julia Collins is the top female contestant in the history of the game of Jeopardy!.
And she has a personal connection to our very own Nikki Junewicz.
The two grew up in the same Chicago neighborhood, Collins actually used to be her babysitter.
While it's been years since they have talked in person, Nikki had the chance to catch up with her over Facetime this week about her incredible success on the show.
At $261,000, twelve days, and counting Collins is Jeopardy!'s girl on fire.
Breaking records for women on the hit show, after winning her eighth game.
What's the secret to all that success? Is there a strategy? She says, not really.
"You have to really be in the moment and not let something rattle you and I think if I was thinking about some grand strategy I would have just distracted myself, I really just focused on buzzing in first, getting the answer right, and keeping control of the board," explains Collins.
Julia has degrees from Wellesley College and MIT.
She played along with the show as a child, imagining herself one day behind the podiums.
"I caught it pretty regularly when I was a kid and I really enjoyed it, I liked shouting answers at the TV like everybody else and I thought this seems fun I bet I'd be good at that," says Collins.
And if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Julia tried out for the show five years ago and didn't make the cut.
"At the tryout I think I seemed really nervous, my mom told me after that I looked terrified and so I didn't get called to be on the show," says Julia.
So what does she plan to do with all her prize money? For Julia, it's all about saving, travel, and enjoying this time in her life, she won't likely forget.
"I fulfilled a lifelong dream so that was amazing and winning the money is the secondary benefit of being on the show and winning games on the show you do it because it's fun," adds Collins.
You can watch Julia on Jeopardy! every day on WEAU at 4pm.