Joseph Ditzler
The Bulletin

Rachel Lindgren’s winning streak on “Jeopardy!” came to an end Friday.

The fire lookout from Bend enjoyed a week’s worth of fame on the popular TV quiz show. She ended her sixth daily appearance in third place after spending five days as reigning champion. Lindgren finished Friday’s round with $100, after fending off eight challengers over the previous five rounds.

She takes home more than $75,000 in winnings from her appearances and qualified for a chance to appear in the game show’s Tournament of Champions.

The shows were recorded in October. “Jeopardy!” produces five shows on one day at Sony Picture Studios, in Culver City, California.

Thursday, Lindgren said she surprised herself by doing as well as she did.

She had held the stage all day in front of an audience.

“I was getting really tired, and I was not expecting to win,” she said. “I was ready to go home.”

She kept to the terms of her nondisclosure agreement, although her boyfriend, Kelly Smith, also of Bend, was in the audience, and several others knew the outcome of her “Jeopardy!” performance.

Friends and supporters of Lindgren gathered this week at the Platypus Pub on NE Third Street, in Bend, to watch the show and root for the hometown player. Thursday, she posed for photos and lingered after the half-hour broadcast to chat with fans who filled the basement pub.

Lindgren, 26, a native of Carson City, Nevada, is a regular at the pub at Tuesday night trivia contests. She majored in biology and forestry at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Last fire season, she stood watch in the Lava Butte fire tower. She also works as a ticket agent at Mt. Bachelor ski area.

Social media expanded her fan base, and Lindgren fielded congratulatory tweets from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, among others. She received offers of flight instruction and marriage proposals.

Lindgren said she would pay bills with her “Jeopardy!” winnings and put some toward flight lessons.

Her friends dubbed her the “cat lady” after she answered an entire category on wild cat species during Wednesday’s broadcast.

“I said I was actually a dog person,” and a general animal lover, she said Thursday.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,