Julia Collins won her sixth straight game on Jeopardy on Monday night, making her just the 28th person to surpass that five-game barrier, and the first from Illinois. We decided to map the hometowns of those 28 all-stars to see what we can learn about the best of the best.
Collins' sixth win raised her winnings to just shy of $125,000, among the lower half of winnings among the group both by total and per-game average. Notably, Collins is just the fourth woman to reach more than five consecutive wins, coming less than two weeks after Sandie Baker's six-game streak. Combined with Stephanie Jass's seven-win streak last season, women appear to be entering the male-dominated scoreboard with slightly more regularity.
Jeopardy only allowed contestants to win more than five games beginning in season 20, about eleven years ago. Each individual location on the map below represents the hometown of the big-time winners, and you can click on each for more information.
View Jeopardy 5+ Winners in a full screen map
We included some basic data on each, including what season of the show they participated, the length of their win streak, their total dollars won on that streak, and their average winnings per match.
Some takeaways from the map:
No Canadians: Sure, Jeopardy! is based in America, but it's surprising that no one from Canada has ever won more than five games in a row. Canada and the U.S. are the only two countries eligible to compete, but America is pitching a shutout at the moment. Although the countries share most of the same cultural and historical knowledge, Canada just can't keep up with the big boys to the south.
College towns: It should come as little surprise that many of the locations surround local universities, given that many of these contestants are graduate students or professors. For example, there's Jared Hall, a graduate student in Austin, TX; Joon Pahk, a Harvard physics professor from Somerville, MA; and Keith Whitener, a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory in Charlotte, NC. Smart people live in areas with prominent college institutions.
BosWash domination: The area stretching from Washington D.C. to Boston contains eight of the 28 all-stars, about 29 percent of the winners. That pulls above the area's weight as about 17 percent of the population of the U.S. In all, the area east of the Mississippi River dominates, with just five all-star winners out west. That does include Ken Jennings in Utah, though, so in terms of total winnings it's likely a wash.