How Amy Schneider Revolutionized ‘Jeopardy!’

Amy Schneider Jeopardy!
Jeopardy/YouTube

The brilliant engineering manager and now former Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider ended her groundbreaking run on the show on January 26.

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.

Her Earnings

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).

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The cameras kept rolling following record-breaking champion's shocking defeat.

Her Spirit

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.

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.

While sharing their congratulations, Jennings and Bialik also complimented Schneider’s character and skills.

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.

Schneider serves as a beacon of victory and brilliance, and her community is grateful.

Schneider went on to graciously thank Jeopardy! viewers and congratulate her victor, Rhone Talsma, following her loss.

Viewers can anticipate Schneider’s return to the show at the Tournament of Champions this fall.

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