(left to right) Jeopardy! host Myram Bialik and contestant Tracy Pitzel 

ELLENSBURG - An Ellensburg woman found herself in the national spotlight this week when she competed on one of the most popular TV game shows of all time, Jeopardy!

Tracy Pitzel, an accountant who works at Central Washington University, appeared on the Monday night broadcast of the show and came up just short of beating the show’s longtime champion, Matt Amodio. Amodio has now won 26 consecutive Jeopardy! contests.

In the episode, Pitzel wagered enough to win “Final Jeopardy,” had she gotten the answer right.

“I wasn’t even paying attention to my score, but when I realized I could catch him, I almost lost it,” said Pitzel.

Pitzel had won $17,000 through the first two rounds. Pitzel is a lifelong Jeopardy! fan and says being on the show “was like being in the Olympics.”

“I have always been good at trivia, so this was just the next step for me,” Pitzel said.

Pitzel says one of the most difficult parts about being on the show was not being able to tell her family, friends, and co-workers about her performance – or that she had been invited to compete on the show.

“I had to keep it a secret, which was really hard,” said Pitzel.

Pitzel earned the opportunity to appear on Jeopardy! after taking an online test against 70,000 applicants nationwide, placing among the top 10%.

“That was easily one of the best days of my life,” she said.

The answer to the Final Jeopardy question was "who framed Roger Rabbit?" 

Matt Amodio tweeted that the 'heat' brought by Pitzel was too close for comfort. 

"This was a great game against two smart people... *phew* that was close"