“Jeopardy!” championhas finally been defeated. The long-running champ lost Wednesday’s game to newcomer Rhone Talsma, a librarian from Chicago.
Schneider’s loss comes after a 40-game winning streak, and just two days after she moved ahead of Matt Amodio into second place for consecutive wins on the quiz show. Only current host Ken Jennings has ever topped that. Schneider’s total game winnings reached $1,382,800, putting her in fourth place for highest all-time regular season cash winnings on the show.
“It’s really been an honor,” Schneider said in a press release. “To know that I’m one of the most successful people at a game I’ve loved since I was a kid and to know that I’m a part of its history now, I just don’t know how to process it.”
Schneider was felled in the “Final Jeopardy!” round after failing to answer the clue: “The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an H. It’s also one of the 10 most populous.”
The correct answer was Bangladesh, and Talsma got it right to claim victory.
“I’m still in shock,” Talsma said. “This is my favorite show … I was so excited to be here and I just wanted to do my best. I did not expect to be facing a 40-day champion, and I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant. I just really didn’t think it was going to be me, so I’m thrilled.”
Schneider’s run on the iconic game show captured the hearts of millions of fans. She is the show’s first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. During her time on the show, Schneider became thein show history and the first woman to reach $1 million in regular season earnings.
She’s also been aadvocate for the LGBTQ+ community, while refusing to let transphobic comments keep her from her goals.
In a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” Schneider said her favorite thing about her time on the game show was being on television as her true self, “representing the entire community of trans people, and just kind of showing a different thing than maybe some people have seen, of just being a smart, confident woman and, you know, just doing something super normal like being on ‘Jeopardy!'”
For fans sorry to see Schneider go, rest assured: Her face will grace television screens once again when she returns for Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions this fall.