“Jeopardy!” icon Amy Schneider brokeon Friday night, knocking fellow star James Holzhauer out of the third-place spot for consecutive games won.
Schneider won her 33rd game on Friday night, beating a full-time parent from Massachusetts and a financial analyst from California. She dominated the game from the outset, finding and correctly answering all three Daily Double questions and ending the first two rounds with more than a $26,000 lead. Though she lost $20,000 on a “Cemeteries and Memorials” question in Final Jeopardy, she still ended with $10,200, bringing her total winnings to $1,111,800.
Even before Friday’s episode, she had already hit a new milestone, according to host Ken Jennings: 1,000 correctly answered questions.
The win comes after she tied Holzhauer’s record in a similar fashion on Thursday. When asked during the Friday show how it felt to have caught up to Holzhauer, Schneider said that she had never expected to do well — but that once she started winning more games, beating Holzhauer became “a target of mine.”
In a Twitter thread dissecting Thursday’s game, she added, “One thing that may or may not be coming across is just how much fun I was having during all this! The winning is nice, sure, but it was also just a rewarding experience to be so focused on one particular thing.”
The first transgender “Jeopardy!” contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, Schneider has smashed records and won a steady following with her gameplay. She is the highest earning female contestant in “Jeopardy!” history.
But despite her wins, it was not until Friday that she reached Holzhauer, Matt Amodio or Ken Jennings, who made up the top three for consecutive games won and for total regular-season winnings.
She is $406,801 away from overtaking Matt Amodio’s third-place spot for highest regular season play winnings, and only five games away from tying Ammodio’s second-place streak of 38 games. But she still has a long way to go before upsetting Ken Jennings’ records: $2,520,700 over 74 games.
An Oakland resident and engineering manager, Schneider has been extremely vocal about her success on the show and the response she receives as an out and proud transgender woman.
“The fact is, I don’t actually think about being trans all that often, and so when appearing on national television, I wanted to represent that part of my identity accurately: as important, but also relatively minor,” she tweeted in November, referencing a transgender pride flag pin she wore on the show. “But I also didn’t want it to seem as if it was some kind of shameful secret. While it’s gratifying to know that people didn’t necessarily know I was trans until they read about it, I do want people to know that aspect of me. I think being trans is really cool!”
Zoe Christen contributed reporting.