Amy Schneider, who made history as the highest-earning female contestant to ever appear on Jeopardy!, has been knocked from her perch as reigning champion. After 40 consecutive wins, Schneider, 42, lost to Rhone Talsma, a librarian from Chicago.
The question which ended her winning streak? “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?

Won 40 Consecutive Games

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, Schneider said, ”I think that the best part for me has been being on TV as my true self, expressing myself and 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 just doing something super normal like being on Jeopardy!” 

Schneider’s win on the January 24 episode also made her the second highest standing contestant for consecutive wins in the show’s history. 

Schneider won 40 consecutive games and amassed $1,382,800 in cash. Her win dropped Matt Amodio from second to third place. Amodio won 38 consecutive games in 2021, winning $1,518,601.

According to statistics of the show, Schneider has given the correct answer to questions 89 percent of the time and 100% percent of the time when she has answered the Daily Double.

Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, CA, maintains a very active Twitter account, where she posts daily play-by-plays of her appearances.

‘I Think Being Trans is Really Cool’

Schneider posted a long Tweet chain on November 27 saying, “I didn’t want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show. I am a trans woman, and I’m proud of that fact, but I’m a lot of other things, too!”

“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.”

“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!”

In November, Schneider made Jeopardy! history, becoming the first transgender contestant to qualify for the game show’s Tournament of Champions, where the top 15 prize earners from that year compete against each other.

Schneider also wore the transgender pride pin during last year’s Thanksgiving Day episode. 

Taking again to Twitter, Schneider talked about her choice to wear the pin. “And there’s a specific reason I thought Thanksgiving would be the right time to wear that pin. Thanksgiving is a holiday that is all about family. And that can be hard for anybody who has been ostracised or otherwise cut off from their family… a group which, sadly, still includes a disproportionately high number of trans people, especially trans youth and trans people of color. So, it felt like a good time to show my membership in, and support of, a community that might be having a hard time right now.”

GLAAD also recognised Schneider’s historic winning streak by awarding her a special recognition award in the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

Schneider tweeted her thanks, saying, “I did want to take a moment to acknowledge how honored and humbled I am to have been recognized in this year’s @glaad Media Awards.”

In her conversation with Stephanopoulos, Schneider talked about her secret of winning. “The main secret is just being curious and spending my life learning a lot of stuff.” She also said she learned to handle the notoriously tricky buzzer through “instinct and feel.”

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