During her regular run on Jeopardy!, she won a total of $222,597 over six games and $1,000 3rd place consolation prize in her seventh, with her last appearance airing May 28, 2008. Excluding tournament winnings, Kelly is the highest-winning female contestant and ranks fifth in all-time in Jeopardy! earnings. In addition to being the highest-winning female contestant in regular play, while she was champion Kelly broke Ken Jennings' record for most money won in a contestant's first five days by winning $179,797; this record was one of two Roger Craig broke during his reign as champion, as he won $195,801 in his first five games (Craig also topped Jennings' single-game record of $77,000).[note 1] Kelly is also the second-highest winning female contestant in any single game in Jeopardy!'s history. Kelly's $45,200 performance narrowly trails Maria Wenglinsky, who won $46,600 on November 1, 2005.
Background and education
Kelly grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and attended Newton North High School where she helped lead the science bowl team to national competition. She graduated from Princeton University in 2002 and is now a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying the history of archaeology in 19th century Mexico. She played quiz bowl at both Princeton and Berkeley. On August 3, 2002, she married her quiz bowl teammate Jeff Hoppes.
She is one of three members of her family to have played on Jeopardy!, all between 2004 and 2008, and the only winner of the three. Her husband was defeated by Jennings in Jennings' 70th game as champion. Her sister Arianna was defeated in her initial Jeopardy! appearance, in part due to questionable calls that prompted Standards and Practices to bring her back for a second appearance; in her second appearance, Arianna was defeated by Aaron Schroeder, who later faced Larissa in the 2009 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions finals.
In the 2009 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, Kelly won her quarterfinal and semifinal matches and led after the first game of the two-game finals, with $24,400 to Dan Pawson's $22,301. She lost to Pawson in the second game after she missed the Final Jeopardy! clue, which required identifying George II of Great Britain as the last British ruler to be born outside the United Kingdom. She won $100,000 for finishing second.
She has been confirmed as a participant in the upcoming "Battle of the Decades" tournament.
During her streak, Kelly broke the following Jeopardy! records:
|Description||Current Record||Previous Record|
|Highest total winnings on Jeopardy! by a female player in non-tournament play||US$222,597 by Larissa Kelly||US$122,300 by Maria Wenglinsky, 2005|
|Longest streak (from first appearance) of correct Final Jeopardy! responses on Jeopardy!||10 games by Larissa Kelly||9 games by Leah Greenwald and Dave Abbott|
The following records, previously held by Kelly, have now been broken:
|Description||Current Record||Kelly's Record||Previous Record|
|Highest 5-game total on Jeopardy!, first 5 games (unadjusted)||US$195,801 by Roger Craig||US$179,797 by Larissa Kelly||US$156,000 by Ken Jennings|
|Longest winning streak on Jeopardy! by a female player in non-tournament play||7 games by Stephanie Jass||6 games by Larissa Kelly||5 games by various contestants|
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- "Grad student makes 'Jeopardy!' history". United Press International. May 29, 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-04. "In addition to being the "winningest" female champion in the quiz show's 24 seasons, she also has become the third biggest money winner behind all-time "Jeopardy!" champ Ken Jennings, who went home with $2.5 million, and David Madden, who won $430,400, representatives for the series said."
- Her winning way, The Boston Globe
- Contra Costa Times report on Larissa Kelly
- Jeopardy! press release
- Archived copy of Department of Energy website
- Berkeley Grad Spotlight
- Berkeley Quizbowl Pictures
- Princeton Quizbowl Pictures
- Yahoo! Groups
- Kelly, Larissa (2008-12-22). "Engines of Survival". Strange Horizons. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- These figures came after Jeopardy! doubled its clue values in 2001; if earlier scores are doubled to account for this, Craig, Kelly, and Jennings all trail Frank Spangenberg, whose adjusted total is $205,194. Jerome Vered's adjusted total of $193,602 is third to Spangenberg and Craig.
|Biggest winners on Jeopardy! by season
|Biggest one-day total on Jeopardy! by season
|Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions first runner-up