A senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

Rachel Rothenberg

Are you the best Jeopardy! player at your house?
Yes! I'm sort of famous for, y'know, always getting the questions and I practice with, um, with one of my brother's drumsticks. It's like a sort of fake buzzer. So, I'd like to say I'm pretty good, but my dad does beat me from time to time.

What's the best part of being a teen?
Um, I think it's great because, y'know, you're still so open to all different kinds of ideas. You're not--you don't quite have all the responsibilities of an adult yet, but you sort of are--you know more than you did when you were a kid, so, just sort of learning about everything and just growing and starting to make your own decisions I think is really cool.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Um, well, I would like to ideally, um, be a writer, so... I'll be 27, so with any luck, I'll maybe publish something, um... I'd like--I'd also like to be a teacher. Um, I'd like to get people as excited about knowledge as I am a lot of the time. So that would be a great thing for me to do in about ten years.

What are you going to say to Alex?
I don't know if I'll be able to speak at all. He's probably the most famous person I've ever met, so I'll probably just sound really stupid. I'll be like, [falsetto voice] "Hello, Alex Trebek!" So, um, yeah, that's probably it!


What does winning $75,000 feel like?
Feels like YES! [Giggles]

Did you ever expect to win it all?
No, definitely not. I was so surprised when I even made, um, y'know, a wildcard spot and I thought, "I'm just gonna go in, I'm gonna do the best I can, I'm gonna have fun, and if I w--if--whether I win or lose, this was a great experience and I'm glad I got this far. And I don't know, something clicked today, I guess. [Laughs]

Did you master the buzzer?
Yeah, that might have been it. I got a little bit better with my reflexes and the time. Yesterday I was buzzing in early a lot--I guess I had like, an itchy trigger finger. I was like, [makes frantic repeated buzzing motion]. [Laughs]

How do you plan on spending your winnings?
Um, I think most of it is gonna go into college. I guess that's not a very exciting answer but it's true. Um, and hopefully I'll be able to get like a whole year done, and so then that's one less thing I have to worry about.

What will your Facebook status be when your show airs?
Um, it'll probably be "Jeopardy! feels like YES!" [Laughs]

What advice do you have for other Jeopardy! contestants?
I would just suggest that you just go for it. Even if you think that you haven't done well or you don't think you can handle the buzzer or, y'know, you feel like you'll be too nervous, I say just go for it, because this is one of the greatest experiences I've ever had, and I just want everybody to have as much fun as I did.

What was the best part of your experience?
I really liked meeting all the other contestants. They were all really, really cool, really, really fun, and I was so glad I got to compete against this group 'cause they were all great.

Congratulations on the big win Rachel!

2009 Teen Tournament winner (semifinalist by wildcard): $75,000.

Jeopardy! Message Board user name: nonboingy
Mother's Jeopardy! Message Board user name: teenjepmom

Rachel appeared in the following 4 archived games:
#5790, aired 2009-11-13 Aidan Mehigan vs. Will Dantzler vs. Rachel Rothenberg 2009 Teen Tournament final game 2.
#5789, aired 2009-11-12 Aidan Mehigan vs. Will Dantzler vs. Rachel Rothenberg 2009 Teen Tournament final game 1.
#5788, aired 2009-11-11 Lindsay Oxx vs. Gabe Orlet vs. Rachel Rothenberg 2009 Teen Tournament semifinal game 3.
#5784, aired 2009-11-05 Solomon Howard vs. Aidan Mehigan vs. Rachel Rothenberg 2009 Teen Tournament quarterfinal game 4.

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