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Forsyth County stay-at-home mom places second on Jeopardy
Despite coming up $3,600 short of beating the reigning champion, Jamie Newland, the Cumming resident was the only contestant to correctly answer the Final Jeopardy clue Tuesday evening: The U.S. Navys photonics mast has replaced this familiar device. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

CUMMING -- Kimberly Bond did not hesitate before picking up the stylus.

“What is a periscope?” the 34-year-old wrote confidently, 90 percent sure her Final Jeopardy answer was correct.

The Forsyth County mom had $5,399 on the line, having bet everything but a single dollar on the last question.

“Ani had more than half of Jamie’s total so I knew Jamie had to risk something, so I decided to risk everything but a dollar,” she said. “I gave myself the best chance I could.”

The answer was correct, advancing Bond into second place and bringing her final pot to $10,799.

Despite coming up $3,600 short of beating the reigning champion, Jamie Newland, the Cumming resident was the only contestant to correctly answer the Final Jeopardy clue Tuesday evening: “The U.S. Navy’s photonics mast has replaced this familiar device.”

Bond, a freelance writer and editor and stay-at-home mom, was featured on Tuesday’s episode of the trivia show, which was filmed in January.

“I flew out to Los Angeles back in January and it was the first time away from my then 14-month old daughter,” Bond said. “It’s nerve-wracking when you get there, but everyone is so nice and they want you to relax so you’ll be a good contestant.

“The other contestants were super nice, and Alex Trebek really is a true gentleman. I didn’t even feel nervous by the time they started taping the show.”

A former attorney, Bond and her husband, Jason, are trivia buffs, making her an ideal contestant for what she calls “the king of all trivia.”

“When we were dating and first married, we played every week on a trivia team with friends,” she said. “We both enjoy trivia and we’re avid Jeopardy watchers, and it was just a fun thing to do. I wish I could have won, but as the categories were appearing on screen, I was like ‘Oh no, these are the worst possible [options] – these are the ones I was hoping not to get.’

“It just goes to show you, you never know what will be on there and you can tell you have no control; it’s just the luck of the draw with the categories you get. I have a molecular biology and a law degree, and I got baseball questions.”

Though this was her first time on the show, Bond said she had tried out and been auditioned once before.

“A couple of years ago, I said, ‘Why not try out?’” she said. “I was in Atlanta and you take an online test and if you make a certain score, you may be interviewed. I was pregnant though [at the time] so after the audition, they said ‘Why don’t you try again next year?’

“This second time I was in Charleston, and I got the audition again and made it on [the show].”

Bond said she enjoyed the opportunity to compete.

“It was a very cool experience,” she said. “Lots of other stuff was [being filmed] and it was a cool experience see how a TV show is made. Competing was actually my favorite part, though; it was really fun.

“I love answering trivia, and Jeopardy is something I’ve watched so many times that getting to be there and stand up there was fun for me. Also, meeting other contestants – people from all over the country – was cool, too.”

She has kept in touch with some of her competitors, saying she had been in contact with Newland as recently as Wednesday morning.

“I’ve actually been talking to Jaime on Facebook this morning about the episode,” Bond said. “It’s so strange to watch it back because it’s so different than what you remember and it goes by so fast when you’re up there.

“Still, I had a great time and we’re talking about maybe my husband will go on [Jeopardy] next – he’s as good as I am, if not better.”