On the heels of this year’s successes by Matt Amodio and Jonathan Fisher, a new “Jeopardy!” champion is quickly moving up the show’s all-time leaderboard.
Amy Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, has won 11 straight games on “Jeopardy!” as of Dec. 1 to become the third contestant this year to win as many.
She is in a tie for 10th all-time with 11 straight “Jeopardy!” victories. Her $421,200 in winnings rank seventh in the show’s history of regular season prizes.
Here’s what to know about Schneider, who hopes to close out the week before next week’s Professors Tournament begins.
Her experience on the show
Schneider doesn’t want to just defeat her competition, she wants to build insurmountable leads. Entering the Final Jeopardy! round, she has had double the earnings of the second place contestant in more than half of her matches.
“It’s relaxing, I guess. You can kind of let the tension go from the time in there,” Schneider said of building her large leads. “I want to keep doing runaways.”
Schneider told SFGate.com her strengths are in geography and history topics, while pop culture is a weaker spot.
You can even catch Schneider recapping each day’s episode on Twitter. After a Nov. 25 episode, she mentioned “the one thing that sucks” about her winning streak is other contestants having to lose.
And after a recent game — one a little too close for Schneider’s liking — she suggested it may be time to “go back to being boring” with the runaway victories that have become her norm.
But her success on the show is still “surprising” to Schneider, a California resident by way of Ohio.
“You know, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t think I could do good,” Schneider said. “But this has just been so much better than what I thought I would do.”
A transgender icon
By winning her fifth consecutive game last week, Schneider became the first transgender person to qualify for the show’s annual Tournament of Champions. Last year, Kate Freeman was the first transgender contestant to win a game on the show.
She thanked Freeman and other trans competitors who were “blazing the trail for her.”
“The handful of trans contestants that had been on before, I had seen them, and it was really meaningful at that time to see trans people succeeding at this thing that I really wanted to succeed at,” she told SFGate.com. “What’s great is feeling like I’m now providing that same service for other trans people out there.”
Thank you for your thoughtful message, Amy. ️ pic.twitter.com/Xj02Jd8Nkm
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2021
Viewers spotted Schneider wearing a trans flag pin in an episode last month, which she said she did as a “message of support” to the transgender community.
“Hopefully I can send a positive message to the nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show too,” Schneider told KGO.
Many people have voiced their support for Schneider as she continues to make history on the show as a transgender contestant.
Trans Jeopardy champion Amy Schneider started her current 8 game run on Jeopardy during transgender awareness week and now qualifies for the tournament of champions. She’s also been on TV screens across America during thanksgiving week.
We love her! pic.twitter.com/bNWg6l1hbh
— Erin, Trail Mom (@ErinInTheMorn) November 26, 2021
Whether or not Jeopardy is your thing, watching sensible, delightful trans champion Amy Schneider run the board the last 7 days has been breathtaking.
— Tim Sniffen (@MisterSniffen) November 27, 2021
— YouDontKnowMe, but i’m vaccinated (@REALmedtech) November 27, 2021
With all the crap and lies of late that is bring leveled at us in the Trans community that has worn us down a bit Amy Schneider is a breath of fresh air who has come along at the right time to give all of us Trans people a reason to be proud. You go girl! We are so proud of you! https://t.co/LPdfdGxzvB
— Janet Sara️⚧️2 (@TransbianGrace) November 27, 2021
By the numbers
Schneider is averaging $38,290 in her 11 victories, outpacing Ken Jennings’ average by $4,000 from when he won 74 games in a row in 2004.
With a victory in the Dec. 2 episode, she would likely surpass Julia Collins and David Madden to move into the show’s top five in regular season winnings.
Consecutive Games Won:
Ken Jennings in 2004: 74 games
Matt Amodio in 2021: 37 games
James Holzhauer in 2019: 32 games
Julia Collins in 2014: 20 games
Jason Zuffranieri in 2019: 19 games
David Madden in 2005: 19 games
Austin Rogers in 2017: 12 games
Seth Wilson in 2016: 12 games
Arthur Chu in 2014: 11 games
Jonathan Fisher in 2021: 11 games
Amy Schneider in 2021: 11 games
Highest winnings (regular season play):
Ken Jennings: $2,520,700
James Holzhauer: $2,462,216
Matt Amodio: $1.518,601
Jason Zuffranieri: $532,496
David Madden: $430,400
Julia Collins: $428,100
Amy Schneider: $421,200