Answer: This Williams Bay resident and eighth-grade teacher appeared as a contestant this week on the popular TV game show “Jeopardy!”
Question: Who is Erin Creed?
In true “Jeopardy!” fashion, no neighbors or co-workers of Creed at Williams Bay Middle/High School for the past seven years would have gotten that one wrong after watching the episode of the show that aired Monday.
Others in the area might have recognized the teacher, too. Prior to moving to the Walworth County village, Creed taught for two years at Parker High School in Janesville.
Creed mentioned on the show that she is a fifth-generation teacher, a calling that started in her family in 1880, when her grandmother’s grandfather earned his teaching certificate in Texas.
“I grew up watching ‘Jeopardy!’ with my parents every night after dinner. It was always on the TV,” she told The Gazette.
As someone who enjoys games of trivia and used to run academic bowls, making it to “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” was a lifelong dream, she said.
This week’s appearance was the result of Creed’s second attempt trying out for the show. She first auditioned in 2016. Despite not being selected that year, Creed took the online audition quiz a second time in 2020 and got the call a year later.
“I started off on a whim and it just worked out,” she said.
Creed kept things quiet about her selection, telling only her immediate family.
“I didn’t tell very many people, so that if I never got called, it wouldn’t be a big disappointment,” she said.
When she did break the news, Creed said everyone was shocked and excited—except for her mother.
“She has a sixth sense about these things,” Creed said. “She knew before I told her.”
Creed’s students learned the news on social media.
“A lot of the students follow the school’s Instagram (account). Then on Monday, they said, ‘Is it true? Are you going to be on ‘Jeopardy?’’” she said they asked her.
Creed said she flew to Los Angeles in mid-October for the show. She started getting nervous the day of taping. Multiple episodes of “Jeopardy!” are recorded in a single day, so each contestant is well aware of any current winning streak by a competitor.
“When they came out and said we have a returning champion (who has) already won 13 shows in a row, that was the moment when my nerves really said, ‘Oh, that’s intimidating.’” Creed said.
Finally on the show, Creed said she struggled with the buzzer, unable to get the timing right—something the reigning champion seemed to have mastered.
When it came to Final Jeopardy!, the last round of the game, Creed correctly responded “Who is Lois Lane?” to the answer “Introduced in 1938 and inspired by movie character Torchy Blane of the Morning Herald, she has since gone on to win a fictional Pulitzer.”
Despite knowing the name of Superman alter ego Clark Kent’s co-worker and love interest, she finished third out of the three contestants playing.
Nonetheless, she left the show with $1,000 in consolation prize money. Factoring in the cost of travel and a hotel room, she said she returned home with a couple hundred dollars and a few memories.
“I wish I had been a little quicker on the buzzer, but it was a lot of fun,” Creed said. “My husband keeps telling me that it was an accomplishment just to get on the show because not everybody gets chosen.”
Creed said her only regret was not getting to meet the Alex Trebek, who hosted the show for 37 seasons before he died late last year.
She said appearing on “Jeopardy!” is among her top five life experiences. Had she also met Trebek, “that would have put it in my top one or two,” she said.