NKY woman wins $70k on "Jeopardy!"

Published: Nov. 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: Dec. 3, 2013 at 4:01 PM EST
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(FOX19) - A Northern Kentucky woman won $70,701 on Jeopardy!.

Rani Peffer is a 35-year-old corporate finance manager now living in Crittenden, Ky. She appeared on the quiz show for 6 days, losing in Final Jeopardy.

"Realizing I won that amount of money was amazing, but even more than that I relished the feeling of being a winner," Peffer said. "I also get a kick out of challenging stereotypes in a way that people might not expect. I hope my performance on the show will challenge people's ideas about what to expect from a person with a rural background, or a person who works in corporate finance, or a mom with young kids."

Peffer attended small rural public schools in Western Kentucky, and earned both a B.S. in accounting and economics and a M.B.A. with a concentration in finance at the University of Kentucky. She now works for a large consumer-products company and says she tried to prepare as much as time would allow, making flashcards and reading reference materials.

"Between a full-time job as a corporate finance manager and another full-time job taking care of my two small children, I didn't have much dedicated time to study before the show," Peffer said. "I mostly relied on a lifetime's accumulation of random knowledge in a variety of categories."

The power of positive thinking played a role in Peffer's success; she primed herself before each game with a winning attitude.

"In any type of competition, there's a big difference between 'playing to win' and 'playing not to lose,'" she said. "Before and during each game, I kept reminding myself to 'play to win' in every situation. My game play changed depending on the specific position I was in, but I forced myself to remain focused on winning throughout and to banish any thoughts of giving up from my mind."

Peffer plans to use her winnings in various ways, including starting a college fund for her children. She also has a rather unique goal for the next phase of her life as a JEOPARDY! champion.

"I consider appearing on JEOPARDY! a lifelong dream, and the fact that I was able to accomplish this makes me feel like anything is possible," Peffer said. "Now that I've become a JEOPARDY! champion, I have at least two big dreams left: to appear in the Tournament of Champions and to be a 'special guest' backup dancer for Weird Al Yankovic. Come on, Weird Al, how many famous musicians can say they've had a five-time JEOPARDY! champion as a backup dancer? Wouldn't that be fun? I will await your tweet."

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