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Lisa Ann Walter Says the Buzzer and Her Late Mother Were Key to Winning ‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’

Lisa Ann Walter
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Celebrity Jeopardy! winner Lisa Ann Walter opened up about the most challenging aspect of securing the top prize during a Tuesday, March 19, interview on Live With Kelly And Mark.

When host Mark Consuelos asked about the toughest part of playing Jeopardy!, Walter, 60, didn’t hesitate to point the finger at the buzzer. She also joked about struggling not to sweat in her leather jacket during the intense game.

“It’s a nightmare,” the Abbott Elementary star admitted, highlighting the differences between playing at home and being on the show.

“When I’ve been playing at home you see it and you go, ‘Oh I know that… the Magna Carta,’ or whatever it is. You have to wait [on the show] until they read the last word of the question and then [jump on the buzzer] immediately. And if you’re early, you’re locked out,” she revealed.

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Walter shared that the other contestants get a chance to answer if you buzz too early, and only if they are incorrect do you get the chance to buzz again.

“I’m always just confused as to exactly what they’re asking me,” added Kelly Ripa. “Is that because they couch the questions in a way where you’re like, ‘Wait, do they want the name of the actor, or the show, or what?’”

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Despite the confusion and high-pressure stakes, Walter navigated through the game and clinched victory with a million-dollar final answer.

Reflecting on her win, Walter shared a heartfelt moment when she felt her late mother’s presence during the last question.

“The final Jeopardy question where I won — the other two people were ahead of me because they had the buzzer thing down, but they got it wrong, they both got it wrong,” Walter said.

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The question related to a 1930 Mary Roberts Rinehart novel entitled The Door, and when Walter heard the first part of the question, she panicked and was sure she wouldn’t know the answer.

“But it said, ‘What four-word literary trope became famous because the guy killed the mistress?’ It’s the butler! The butler did it,” she said.

“My mother was a teacher and read up to four mystery novels at a time. She came to me, in that moment. First time she’s visited since she died by the way — and she was like, ‘The butler did it,’ and I won a million bucks.”

Walter’s season of Celebrity Jeopardy! concluded in January and her winnings were donated to The Entertainment Community Fund.

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