Not only did Castrodale, who writes a weekly column for NBC Sports.com, win Tuesday's game with $39,399, but she knocked off one of the show's all-time best players in the process.
Castrodale's win came over Roger Craig, who holds the mark for the biggest one-day payoff in the show's history at $77,000. Craig's $231,000 in seven games makes him the third-highest money winner in "Jeopardy!" history.
"It was like Gladiator," Castrodale, a 2001 Wake Forest graduate, told the Winston-Salem Journal. "You just sit there helpless, like, 'I've got to face this guy.' "
Castrodale trailed Craig going into "Final Jeopardy!," but, through a quirk of fate, she caught a break when the category for the round was revealed to be "Sports and the Media."
The final clue, The headline for this city's newspaper on Feb. 8, 2010 read "Finally The Wait Is Over After 43 years." was a gimme for a sportswriter and Castrodale correctly answered New Orleans and bet all but one dollar of her total. Craig guessed Chicago and finished third.
"I thought maybe fate does exist," she told the Journal Tuesday.
By the way, Castrodale isn't even the only Wake Forest grad turned sportswriter to win on "Jeopardy!" In 1999, Eddie Timanus, a blind sportswriter with USA Today, was a five-day champion on the show, winning nearly $70,000.