Julie Sisson, right, a library circulation assistant from Everett, stands next to “Jeopardy!” quiz show host Ken Jennings. (Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

Julie Sisson, right, a library circulation assistant from Everett, stands next to “Jeopardy!” quiz show host Ken Jennings. (Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

Who is … Julie Sisson? Everett library worker on ‘Jeopardy!’

Last fall, Sisson took the “Jeopardy! Anytime Test” that lets hopefuls test online 24/7. The show airs July 25.

EVERETT — What is … insomnia?

That’s what landed Julie Sisson on the quiz show “Jeopardy!”

That, and reading tons of books.

Sisson, 49, a circulation assistant at Everett Public Library’s Evergreen branch since 2008, will be on the show airing 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on KOMO-TV.

Last fall, Sisson took the 50-question “Jeopardy! Anytime Test” that lets hopefuls test 24/7 online.

“One night when I had insomnia at 2 or 3 in the morning, I took it on a whim,” she said. “I was like, ‘Well, I can’t sleep, I’ll take the Anytime Test.’”

It was her third time testing for the show over 10 years. The first two times she never heard back. This time, she was invited for a second test a few months later. The final round was a Zoom audition on Valentine’s Day.

In May, she went to Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, to tape the show.

She couldn’t tell anyone until a week ago.

“I had to keep everything a secret until I was officially allowed,” Sisson said.

Of course, she told her mom.

“She wanted to tell everybody so badly. Once I put it on Facebook she was like, ‘Now I can tell all the other ladies at church!’” Sisson said.

Sisson can’t reveal how she did compared to the other Washingtonian who did good: Edmonds-born Ken Jennings, a 74-time “Jeopardy!” champion who won $4.5 million and is now the show’s host.

Was she nervous?

“I really wasn’t. I felt like I’d read every library book that I could and I either knew it or I didn’t,” she said. “Plus, the studio audience is very small. Ken Jennings was very nice and friendly. He understands what it’s like to be on the show.”

Before the show, contestants waited in the “Wheel of Fortune” studio set.

“We were chatting,” she said. “It didn’t feel competitive. It felt like a bunch of fun nerds.”

Sisson started watching “Jeopardy!” as a kid. “It was such a thing for grandma. Grandma would be proud,” she said.

It’s the only TV game show she watches.

“I don’t feel like it’s a regular game show. Smart people get on ‘Jeopardy!’” she said. “I feel smarter now that I’ve been on ‘Jeopardy!’”

She likes to read.

“I just remember things, weird stuff,” Sisson said.

She studied for “Jeopardy!” by reading kids’ reference books.

“They don’t go into minute details, and ‘Jeopardy!’ usually doesn’t get too specific,” she said.

Sisson now has resumed her usual insomnia games.

“I go through the on-order list of the library catalog and put things that are on-order on hold,” she said. “It’s sort of like people who do online shopping in the middle of the night, only free.”

Before shelving books at the library, Sisson shelved merchandise in various departments at Walmart.

She doesn’t compete in pub trivia contests. She prefers doing crafts at home and going to baseball games. She and her wife, Debbie Barbay, have a goal of visiting 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. They’ve hit about 15, and crossed one off their list on the “Jeopardy!” trip.

“Library staff, like Julie, tend to have a wealth of knowledge and a knack for trivia as most of us love information and learning and are surrounded by it at work,” library director Abigail Cooley said.

“Jeopardy!”and Everett have crossed paths before.

Former Everett library youth services librarian Sarah Walsh was on the show in 2017 shortly after she moved away.

Everett resident Nick Spicher, an educator at Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, was on “Jeopardy!” in 2018 when Alex Trebek was host.

In the category, “Music & Literature Before & After,” a clue in the question was a Coolio song.

The correct answer was “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost.” He was sure he had it. But he pronounced it “Gangster’s.”

That slip of the tongue cost Spicher $3,200, but made him a media sensation. Google “gangsta” and “Jeopardy.”

In 2019, “Jeopardy!” used “What is Everett?” as game show answer to a $2,000 question in the “Geograph’E’” category about “a seaport city 25 miles north of Seattle that is home to aircraft and technology industries like Boeing.”

The contestant, who was from Dedham, Massachusetts, (which is about 30 miles from Everett, Massachusetts) answered correctly and went on to win the game. Everett got a splash of fame out of it.

Will Everett get more notoriety on July 25?

Tune in Tuesday to find out.

High school student Daily Herald interns Hiba Aarbi and Jaelen Oh contributed to this story.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

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