Millville Teacher Advances to Semifinals After 'Jeopardy!' Win

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Judy Tymkiw spends her days teaching English at Lakeside Middle School in Millville. 

But recently she got the opportunity to live out a lifelong dream.

“I always just liked Jeopardy!, but my kids would hear me playing along at home and they always kept saying, ‘You should be on that show, you know everything!’ ” said Tymkiw.

I honestly didn’t know I had won until they told me I won.

So, she tried out. Tymkiw actually auditioned three times before being chosen for the 2018 Teachers Tournament, and once she got the news she prepared by doing what got her there in the first place.

“I watched the show," said Tymkiw. "I just watched the show every day and I played along and I practiced formulating everything in the form of the question so I didn’t mess that up.” 

And even though she’s watched her fair share of the game show, Tymkiw says it was a lot different in person.

“When you’re there you have to concentrate on getting buzzed in first [and] getting the question right so you can beat the other contestants out," said Tymkiw. "And when you’re playing at home you don’t win or lose money; it’s all just glory.” 

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Her episode aired on Wednesday, May 9th, and she actually forgot a lot of what happened before watching it as the Teachers Tournament was recorded earlier this year.

“I didn’t even remember three quarters of the questions that I answered until I saw it again," said Tymkiw. "I was so laser focused on just answering the questions that I wasn’t paying attention to the money. I honestly didn’t know I had won until they told me I won.” 

That’s right, this Millville teacher beat out two other teachers in the quarterfinals.

But she didn’t secure her spot in the semifinals until the very end.

“I was in the hole for a while," said Tymkiw. "I wasn’t really paying attention to the money as I was doing the show, but I got a couple of good Daily Double and high questions right and then I got that final.” 

After living out her lifelong dream, Tymkiw's encouraging others to do the same.

“If you like Jeopardy! and you want to be on the show, do it," said Tymkiw. "Take the online test. I would totally promote that for everybody.” 

The Teachers Tournament semifinals start next week, so be on the look out Tuesday, May 15th, to see if this South Jersey teacher makes it all the way to the finals.

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