How Amy Schneider Revolutionized ‘Jeopardy!’
Schneider was the second transgender contestant to take the podium (following Kate Freeman in 2020). The 42-year-old Oakland, California resident shared her love for learning and her incredible mind with people across the country on this season of Jeopardy.
Below, we take a look at what makes her time on the trivia show stand out and so important.
Schneider finishes her successful streak with 40 consecutive wins, the most in the show’s history. She stands as the show’s highest-earning woman of all time, breaking the previous record set by Julia Collins in 2014. Schneider lands with the second-most consecutive wins aside from Ken Jennings — who still reigns supreme with 74 consecutive wins and is currently splitting hosting duties with Mayim Bialik.
Viewers at home eagerly tuned in as she claimed win after win throughout her reign. The brainiac took home $1,382,800 in total, putting her in fourth place for all-time regular season cash winnings. She is the biggest winner behind Jennings ($2,520,700), followed by James Holzhauer ($2,462,216) and Matt Amodio ($1,518,601).
During her first taping of the show, Schneider says she vowed to “just be herself” — and she won the hearts of viewers across the nation by doing just that.
Going into my first taping, one of the things I told myself was “Just be yourself, and then whatever happens as a result, you’ll be ok with it.” I’m so glad that seems to have come across for everyone! https://t.co/qHP2zU5Rp6
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) January 27, 2022
— Monica Hesse (@MonicaHesse) January 27, 2022
What I’ve loved to see are all the folks reacting to @Jeopardamy ending her streak and saying “Our Amy”. I hope she realizes how very special she is to the #Jeopardy community, and how much we’re looking forward to her next chapter!
— Aunt Nanci (@Aunt_Nanci) January 27, 2022
In each episode, she shared a new, interesting fact about herself. Among those: Her pre-show hype song is “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Schneider said she thinks of the lyrics before she is about to compete. The buzzer-beating superstar also wore her signature pearls each night. The pearls, a gift from her girlfriend, Genevieve, became a staple after her first episode. Schneider said she wore them as a reminder that Genevieve was always with her and was cheering for her back in California. Fans at home couldn’t get enough of this quiz-show sensation and her accessories.
— Matthew Kortjohn (@mokortjohn) January 20, 2022
While sharing their congratulations, Jennings and Bialik also complimented Schneider’s character and skills.
Of all the Jeopardy! greats, I’ve never seen anyone that played the game with the kind of unflappable ease that Amy Schneider always seemed to have. pic.twitter.com/YDBPwd2Don
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) January 27, 2022
Congratulations @Jeopardamy for your historic and absolutely beautiful run on @Jeopardy ! You have inspired so many with your brilliance, your eloquence and your absolute awesomeness. I salute you! #AmySchneider #Jeopardamy #Jeopardy #RepresentationMatters pic.twitter.com/l2kTzRvsIu
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) January 27, 2022
Her Representation and Visibility
As the show’s biggest winning transgender champion and the first out transgender Tournament of Champions contestant to date, Schneider has already broken many glass ceilings.
“Her visibility has been a bright spot, allowing millions of people to root for her success and start conversations about being transgender at a time when proposed bills in states like Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Amy’s home state Ohio, are targeting transgender Americans for discrimination. Amy’s achievement will be celebrated for years to come by Jeopardy! fans and LGBTQ people everywhere.” said Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation in a statement following her last episode.
Last week, GLAAD announced Ms. Schneider will receive a Special Recognition Award at the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor media for outstanding representation of LGBTQ people and issues.
Her victories on the show brought joy and well-deserved representation to many.
Thank you for all you have done for the transgender community @Jeopardamy. You are such a positive ambassador for the 🏳️⚧️ community. It was a joy to watch you with my 🏳️⚧️ teen. We are looking forward to the tournament of champions. Congratulations!
— M Stewart (@mpdito1) January 27, 2022
My husband and I have watched @Jeopardamy every single night. @Jeopardy is one of our favorite shows. We were thrilled to see how far she has come and grateful for the immensely positive exposure she has brought to the trans-community. Congrats, Amy! 🏳️⚧️https://t.co/ZkFVfcn5Vi
— Pam Foley (@PamFoleyD9) January 27, 2022
Schneider serves as a beacon of victory and brilliance, and her community is grateful.
Congratulations on your historic winning streak, @Jeopardamy! We’ve loved cheering you on and can’t wait to see you again in the Tournament of Champions. Your visibility has changed lives and changed the conversation about the power and brilliance of our trans community. 🏳️⚧️
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 27, 2022
All of us at NCLR are huge fans of you,@Jeopardamy, (esp. our E.D. @imaniRG)! Thanks for representing the #trans community and congrats on becoming the most successful woman in @Jeopardy history. You deserve the million dollars and that spot in the Hall of Fame!🙌 https://t.co/OaTS1i1WIx
— NCLR – National Center for Lesbian Rights (@NCLRights) January 27, 2022
Schneider went on to graciously thank Jeopardy! viewers and congratulate her victor, Rhone Talsma, following her loss.
It’s one of the best shows on TV, and I have no doubt that before too long you’ll find another great champion to root for. If nothing else, watch Rhone get introduced tomorrow, they made a really great moment out of it! Once again, thanks, and I’ll see you soon!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) January 27, 2022
Viewers can anticipate Schneider’s return to the show at the Tournament of Champions this fall.
Jeopardy, Weekdays, check your local listings