Women have been dominating lately on "Jeopardy!," putting together what's being called an unprecedented winning streak. New York Magazine reports that, through late May, the April 8 airing of the syndicated game show marks the last time a man won a match.
“Since then, women have been on an unprecedented run on a program that has long been a target for complaints from feminists and other critics wondering why, for three decades now, the vast majority of players and winners have been male,” the story reports.
The current champion, Julia Collins, had earned $391,600 through an 18-game winning streak. “She long ago surpassed the prior top female money winner, Larissa Kelly, and now she’s won more games in a row than all but two players in the game’s history," the story reports.
Collins continued her streak Thursday, securing her 19th victory on the show, reports the Associated Press. That tied her with David Madden as the contestant with the second-longest string of wins. The top player ever is Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games and $2.5 million.
Collins can be seen as a sign that “women have finally begun making their marks on the program. Of the 73 non-tournament matches that have aired so far in 2014, female players have won 45. Aside from Collins’ monster run, two others, Sandie Baker and Sarah McNitt, have enjoyed long streaks, too,” the New York Magazine piece notes.
The report adds: “The fate of women on ‘Jeopardy!’ isn’t a frivolous matter, fans of the show insist. Pundits may become absorbed by the hullabaloo surrounding how New York Times editor Jill Abramson was fired or how General Motors CEO Mary Barra was treated by a congressional subcommittee, but ‘Jeopardy!’ is the singular place in pop culture where intellectual achievement — especially by women, minorities, even older people — is glamorized.”