The price of fame is showing up in Rachel Lindgren’s inbox.
The 26-year-old fire lookout from Bend won a fourth time on an installment of “Jeopardy!”, the popular TV quiz show, that aired Wednesday. Lindgren’s appearance on the game show was recorded in October. Her run started Friday, and she’s thus far bested eight competitors to go on to a fifth show Thursday.
From beyond Bend, Lindgren fans are sending congratulatory messages.
“My Facebook inbox thing has blown up with well-wishers,” she said Wednesday before the fourth show aired. “Some are crazy, but most people are nice.”
Among the messages she received: offers from flight instructors to teach her to fly, an invitation to join a women’s aviation group and marriage proposals.
The proposals were “mostly joking, I think,” Lindgren said.
“Jeopardy!” is one of the best-watched shows on primetime TV and a long-winning streak can capture national attention. The program claims 23 million viewers weekly, according to the “Jeopardy!” website.
The Wrap, a website devoted to entertainment news, reported the program averaged a 6.4 percent rating during the 12-show streak by contestant Austin Rogers in October, a seven-month high.
That rating means 6.4 percent of a market’s household audience was watching “Jeopardy!” The show airs locally at 7 p.m. weeknights on KOHD.
A watch party has gathered each night at the Platypus Pub on NE Third Street in Bend, where Lindgren is a Tuesday-night trivia regular. A signboard outside the pub Tuesday invited passersby to watch the “nerd” on “Jeopardy!”
Lindgren holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and forestry from University of Nevada, Reno.
Her boyfriend, Kelly Smith, like her, works for the U.S. Forest Service and at Mt. Bachelor ski area, she said. Lindgren is a ticket agent at Mt. Bachelor and spent fire season at the Lava Butte lookout.
Monday, Lindgren said she plans to put some of her winnings — $65,199 after four days — toward flight instruction. If Lindgren succeeds in winning a fifth round of “Jeopardy!” she qualifies for a chance to appear on the game show’s Tournament of Champions. Qualifying doesn’t guarantee an invitation, according to the site.
“Jeopardy!” is produced twice a week, with a week’s worth of programming recorded each day. Lindgren, a Carson City, Nevada, native who moved to Bend just over a year ago, has answered correctly 55 times and missed only four times over four nights of “Jeopardy!”, according to thejeopardyfan.com.
After two of three rounds on Friday, she had led her next closest opponent by $1,500. In the following three shows, she led her closest rivals by an average $5,500 before the final round.
“I didn’t even realize while I was playing, but people said I’ve almost had a runaway sometimes,” she said Wednesday. “You don’t really notice when you’re in the moment.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7815, firstname.lastname@example.org