While Alex Trebek was the steward of Jeopardy!, he often said that the players were the stars. One of those stars is definitely Amy Schneider, who etched herself into the Jeopardy! history books with her run that ran from the end of 2021 to the early days of 2022.
Schneider without a doubt sits among the all-time Jeopardy! greats like Ken Jennings (who is now one of the permanent Jeopardy! hosts), James Holzhauer, Buzzy Choen, Matt Amodio, Mattea Roach, Brad Rutter and Julia Collins. She’s even getting the chance to add to her Jeopardy! resume with the 2022 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.
So who is Amy Schneider? From her Jeopardy! records to a bit about her personal life, here is what you need to know about her.
Amy Schneider Jeopardy! streak
Amy Schneider was unbeatable on Jeopardy! for 40 straight games of the quiz show. That puts her second all time for consecutive games won on Jeopardy!, trailing only Ken Jennings and his 74-game winning streak.
In addition to the number, Schneider’s streak was impressive for the way that she won, with 85% of her games being classified as "runaways" by Jeopardy! She also answered correctly to clues 95% of the time.
Who beat Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!?
Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the person who ended Schneider’s run on Jeopardy! was Rhone Talsma. Talsma won the game with $29,600, besting Schneider by being the only person that day to provide the correct response to the Final Jeopardy category, "Countries of the World." Here is the question (or answer, technically) that stumped Schneider:
"The only nation whose name in English ends in an ‘h’ and which is also one of the 10 most populous."
The answer: what is Bangladesh?
Unfortunately for Talsma, he was not able to get on a run of his own, losing the game after beating Schneider.
Amy Schneider Jeopardy! winnings
In addition to having the second-longest winning streak on Jeopardy!, Amy Schneider was just the fourth person to earn more than $1 million for what the game show dubs as "regular-season play" (daily games, not a special tournament). Her total winnings over 40 games amounted to $1,382,800, trailing only Matt Amodio, James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings.
She has the chance to add to that total with the 2022 Tournament of Champions, currently taking place. She automatically qualified for the semifinals as a "super champion," with her playing on Tuesday, November 8.
Other Amy Schneider Jeopardy! records
In addition to her win streak and her cash winnings, Schneider set a few other Jeopardy! records. Schneider is the highest-earning female contestant in Jeopardy! history and has the longest win streak of any woman throughout the show’s run. To cap it all off, she is also the first transgender person to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
Amy Schneider career
Every episode of Jeopardy! begins with the contestants being announced, including where they are from and what their job is, so if you have a good memory you may remember what Amy Schneider’s full-time job is. In case you don’t, she is an engineering manager.
Amy Schneider wedding
Winning more than $1 million and setting Jeopardy! records helped make the last year for Schneider memorable, but she had another day that beat it all when she announced the marriage to her partner Genevieve. She shared photos of their wedding day on social media:
A year ago today, I was in LA, waiting to fulfill a dream. The year since has been full of good days, but by far the best one was May 9th, when Genevieve and I got married. Without her, none of the other good days would have happened. I’m so lucky to share my life with her!👰♀️❤️👰♀️ pic.twitter.com/6zG1OpbBZVSeptember 27, 2022
You can learn more about Schneider and other Jeopardy! legends on the Jeopardy! website.
The 2022 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions airs weeknights between October 31 and at least November 14. Celebrity Jeopardy! is also currently airing on Sundays on ABC.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.