Jeopardy!'s Newest Champion Reveals The Scary Scenario She Dealt With While Auditioning

We all have different ideas of hitting the lottery, but recent "Jeopardy!" winner Christine Whelchel has truly hit the lottery in every sense of the word. The competitor sat in the third chair of the game on February 23, but she left as number one. That's not the only "win" she's had lately either. It turns out that Whelchel is a breast cancer survivor and even went through the entire "Jeopardy!" process while battling the disease. 

In case you're not familiar, every contestant on the show gets to a spotlight to tell an interesting fact about them. While some people focus on their long list of academic accomplishments or unique jobs, Whelchel truly blew host Ken Jennings and the rest of the viewers away with hers. It turns out that Whelchel, now a cancer-free, went through the audition for the show the night before her surgery. 

"I was diagnosed in March of 2021, and one of the first things I did a couple of weeks after being diagnosed was take the 'Jeopardy!' test," Whelchel, the 46-year-old said on the show (via Newsweek). "And I ended up getting my audition the night before my surgery in May," she continued. Needless to say, it all worked out for her — in every sense of the word. Whelchel was crowned the champ in an unconventional way during her first appearance on the show. 

The breast cancer survivor won in an unconventional way

The way "Jeopardy!" works is you get two rounds to rack up as many points as you can before answering a Final Jeopardy question, where you wager money on if you'll get it correct and wish for the best. On Christine Whelchel's episode of the show, her and two-day champ Henry Rozycki both wagered just enough points to have a tie. Each contestant ended with $34,000, meaning they were forced into a tie-breaker.

With the question on the screen, the two had to then buzz in, like you do in traditional rounds of "Jeopardy!," to see who would go home with the win. Whelchel buzzed in with the answer "poppy" for the win and earned her $34,000. "Christine, you are our new 'Jeopardy!' champion," host Ken Jennings said, adding, "Cancer free and $34,000 richer. Congratulations to you. What a victory!"

At the time of publication, Whelchel sits at a 3-day win streak of $59,601 and doesn't look like she will be giving up the fight any time soon. After all, if you can beat breast cancer, "Jeopardy!" contestants must not seem so intimidating.