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New Jeopardy champ: 'Why not me?'

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The California woman who dethroned long-time Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings figured she might as well be the player who beats him.

Nancy Zerg, 48, ended Jennings' four-month reign in the game Tuesday in Final Jeopardy, winning $14,401 to his $8,799.

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Zerg, her husband and daughter managed to keep the victory under wraps since the show's taping in September, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday.

She told co-workers at a Ventura, Calif., real estate firm she was traveling to New York this week to attend a bar mitzvah, not that she was appearing on morning talk shows Wednesday, including "Good Morning America" and "Live With Regis and Kelly."

Zerg believes many of the contestants who were eliminated by Jennings essentially lost before they even walked onstage.

"I heard another one say, 'It's no great sin to lose to Ken Jennings,' and they went in and lost to Ken Jennings," she said. "I thought, 'That's no way to play the game.'"

Zerg, a former actress and singer who worked in off-Broadway productions, studied encyclopedias and Trivial Pursuit cards to bone up for her Jeopardy appearance, said Zerg's friend, Janet McNamara.

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