Naperville resident wins on Jeopardy!

Screen capture of Erin Portman, Naperville resident, on Jeopardy!
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Naperville resident Erin Portman appeared on ABC’s Jeopardy! Wednesday, January 18, and came out as the winner.

The Plainfield East High School English teacher became the new champion, winning $31,201. She secured the win in Final Jeopardy! with an early American history question about Increase Mather.

Lifelong fan of Jeopardy!

Portman said in a Plainfield School District 202 article she’s been a fan of the show her whole life. “My family and I enjoyed watching and knowing the answers,” Portman said. “It was exciting when I was a kid to know an answer before my parents.”

Her Jeopardy! quest started when she took an online quiz during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than two years ago. Though she advanced in the process, nothing came of it, so she applied again in May 2022. That led to her current appearance on the show.

Appearance earns her points with her students

Her celebrity turn scored her some points with her students. “Many of my students are big fans of the show and were excited to tell their parents,” Portman said. “But some students told me they’ve never watched it before, and I had to explain the basic premise of the show.”

She hopes her appearance will impart a good lesson to her students.

“Find what you’re passionate about and commit to it,” she said. “Worst case scenario you just try again. Best case scenario things work out great and you have the skills already that you need to be successful.”

Portman will defend her title on Thursday’s show, which airs at 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

photo courtesy: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

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