Easthampton woman’s ‘Jeopardy!’ streak comes to an end

  • Lisa Evans

Published: 6/24/2017 12:03:02 AM

EASTHAMPTON — Andy Warhol famously said, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” After ending a three-day “Jeopardy!” playing streak Friday evening, Lisa Evans agreed.

“This is my 15 minutes,” she said. “I don’t have any problem with it.”

Evans, an office manager from Easthampton, competed against Brittany Franckowiak, a high school biology teacher from Laurel, Maryland, and Pat McNamee, an accountant from McLean, Virginia.

Although she started strong in the first half of the game, she faltered in Final Jeopardy and ended up placing second to McNamee.

In a twist of dramatic irony, Evans was defeated by a question about fellow Smith College alumna Sylvia Plath.

In the Books of the 1960s category, the Final Jeopardy answer was “Wherever I sat… I would be sitting under the same glass,” where the next part of the quote was the title to the author’s only novel.

Evans guessed Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” wagering $11,100 of her winnings. The correct answer was Plath’s 1963 novel, “The Bell Jar.”

“My fellow alumnae at Smith will never let me live down blowing a Sylvia Plath quote,” Evans joked, speaking Friday evening after her episode aired.

Evans watched the episode, which was recorded in March, at a friend’s house in Holyoke. “I was dreading this because I knew how it turned out,” she said.

“Everything has to come to an end sometime,” she continued. She said that she was happy just to be on the show. “I would do it again anytime.”

Evans said she had wanted to compete on Jeopardy since she was 8 years old. She auditioned twice — in 2013 and 2015 — and was set to audition a third time when she got a callback in early 2017.

She said she loved meeting the other contestants and getting to match wits, and said Friday’s episode was a “good, tight game.”

“The most disappointing part of losing was that I didn’t get to play it again,” Evans said.

Even with the second-place finish, Evans walked away with $64,402. She said she plans to pay off bills, donate to some charitable organizations, and put the bulk of it in savings.

She’s also using the winnings to fund a trip to Germany this fall to study a piece of 14th century applique — medieval textiles are one of her particular areas of interest.

“It’s going to make a difference in my life,” she said of her winnings. “But I would have been content with anything.”

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