Otila had graduated as an economist. He became popular as the judge of several quiz shows on television. Otila worked as assistant office chief of Yle from 1965 to 1970, in the United Nations in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 1970 to 1973, in Yle in 1974, in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a development aid expert in Tanzania from 1975 to 1977, and as a factory chief for the Orion Corporation in Arusha, Tanzania from 1977 to 1980.
Otila made questions to Yle TV2's quiz show Thilia Thalia Tallallaa from 1982 until moving on as quiz make for the new channel Kolmoskanava. He worked as assistant chairman of the board of Oy VipVision Finland Ltd. from 1995. Thilia Thalia Tallallaa was continued in 1998. At the Kolmoskanava and Neloskanava channels, Otila was involved in the production of the quiz shows Kolmosvisa, Tietopörssi and Nelosvisa. He was often paired with television presenter Reijo Salminen. Otila was himself a skilled quiz show contestant and finished at third place in the Suomen Tietoviisas quiz in 1994.
Otila was elected as a member of the European Parliament from Finland for the years 1996 to 1999 (National Coalition Party). In the parliament, he was a member of the regional politics board and an assistant member of the agrarian board.
Jyrki Otila died of long-time cancer on 14 April 2003.
- Suomen Veteraanijääkiekkoliitto, member of the board, 1983–2003
- Suomen Jääkiekkomuseoyhdistys, member of the board, 1984–2003
- Kansainvälinen Jääkiekkoliitto, member of the veteran ice hockey committee, 1992–2003
- Suomi-Hong Kong kauppayhdistys, member of the board, 1984
- Olutliitto, chairman of the board, from 2000
- Suomen syöpäpotilaat RY