‘Jeopardy!’ Crowns a Tournament of Champions Winner: Andrew, Amy or Sam?

Sam Buttrey, Amy Schneider, Ken Jennings, and Andrew He for 'Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions
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Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

Jeopardy!‘s Tournament of Champions (TOC) has officially crowned a winner after six games, as Amy Schneider took the top honors in the Monday, November 21 broadcast.

The writer from Oakland, California beat out competitors Andrew He and Sam Buttrey following an intense, intellectual competition. Schneider was the first out of three competitors to win three final games, bestowing upon her the $250,000 grand prize. Meanwhile, He, a software developer from San Francisco, took second place with $100,000, and Buttrey, professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School from Pacific Grove, California, came in third place with $50,000.

“I feel amazing,” Schneider said after her win. “Earlier in the finals, I had this sudden moment of seeing myself and being like ‘I’m on stage in the Tournament of Champions finals,’ and that was crazy. And I won! It’s a great feeling.”

Ken Jennings and Amy Schneider in 'Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions

(Credit: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

Despite not finding any Daily Doubles in the final game, Schneider still emerged victorious against Buttrey who found all three but trailed both Schnieder and He going into Final Jeopardy! Heading into that round of the competition, Schneider led with $15,600, He was just behind her with $14,200, and Buttrey had $8,000.

The Final Jeopardy! clue came from a category titled “Plays,” with the clue reading, “The January 12, 1864, Washington Evening Star reported on a performance of this ‘dashing comedy’ to ‘a full and delighted house.'” Ultimately, the correct response was, “What is ‘Our American Cousin’?”

Buttrey wagered everything and didn’t provide the correct response, automatically knocking him out of the running. Meanwhile, Schneider and He both answered correctly. In the end, He’s wager of $2,801 put his finishing total at $17,001, but it wasn’t enough to beat out Schneider, whose wager of $13,000 brought her final score to $28,600.

Amy Schneider in 'Jeopardy!'s Tournament of Champions

(Credit: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

The TOC served as a rematch for Schneider and He, who previously met in Season 38 when she ended He’s five-game streak then went on a historical 40-game run herself. The impressive run during a regular season put Schneider at number two behind Ken Jennings for all-time players.

“I both wanted to [compete against him] and was afraid of facing him again,” Schneider said of going against He. “I knew he was one of the top competitors in the field. He was definitely someone that I knew could beat me because he very nearly did before, and he did a couple of times here as well. Any of the three of us really could have won if a very small number of things had gone differently. I’m glad we got a really fair chance to test our skills against each other, and I’d love to play him again someday, somehow.”

Along with her remarkable Jeopardy! gameplay, Schneider makes history as the show’s first openly transgender contestant to compete in and win Jeopardy!‘s Tournament of Champions. “I’m going to keep going out there and being me,” she said. “Being in places where people like me haven’t been before, it’s a very powerful thing to do.”

Schneider’s win serves as a cap to Season 38’s historic run, during which she appeared alongside super-streakers like Matt Amodio and Mattea Roach. The fantastic gameplay will surely not be forgotten anytime soon. In the meantime, viewers can look forward to the show’s return of normal gameplay as Season 39 of Jeopardy! continues.

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