Amy Schneider wins the “Jeopardy! »Most consecutive Games of any candidate

When Amy Schneider was in eighth grade in Dayton, Ohio, her classmates voted her most likely to appear in “Jeopardy!”

They underestimated her.

Ms Schneider, 42, engineering director of Oakland, Calif., On Wednesday became the first woman in the show’s history to achieve 21 straight wins, overtaking Julia Collins, who set the record for 20 wins in 2014.

“I never dreamed of matching Julia’s streak”, Ms. Schneider wrote on Twitter. “It’s hard to say how I felt: proud, dumbfounded, happy, numb, all of that stuff. “

In an interview on Thursday, Ms Schneider said that when she wasn’t focusing on the answers, she wondered if she could break Ms Collins’ record.

“I could pretend I didn’t have my eye on the different rankings at the time, but I was definitely in the know,” she said. “I knew what was at stake.

The episodes were filmed in September and October, but Ms Schneider didn’t make her television debut until November 17. After each episode, she took to Twitter to write colorful accounts of their victories or for post updates on her chat, Meep.

This week when she won her 20th victory, she described how she almost missed her chance to equal Ms Collins’ record when one of her fellow competitors, Josette curtis, began to gain on it.

“Josette, a registered dietitian, did a little run in the Vitamin category and all of a sudden my shot against a runaway was questionable,” Ms. Schneider wrote. “And if Josette found the last Daily Double, she could potentially take the lead!

In the end, Ms. Schneider won this match and the next episode hands down.

His 21st victory came when she correctly identified the ship that Officer Charles Lightoller had embarked on April 15, 1912.

His response: “What is the Carpathia? – the ship which rescued the approximately 700 crew members and surviving passengers of the Titanic – brought its total price to $ 806,000, the fifth highest amount won by any “Jeopardy!” competitor and the highest amount won by a female contestant in the show’s history.

Ms. Schneider occupies 4th place overall on the list of “Jeopardy! »Competitors with consecutive wins. Number 1 on this list is Ken Jennings, now a “Jeopardy!” co-host, who won 74 straight games in 2014.

Ms Schneider has been praised by past winners like Larissa Kelly, who appeared on the show in 2008 and 2009 when she was a graduate student and who once held the record for the highest-paid contestant.

“Well, it was fun to hold a Jeopardy! record for a few years, ”Kelly wrote on Twitter. “But it’s even more fun to watch @Jeopardamy set new standards of excellence, on and off the show.

Ms. Schneider, a transgender woman, lives in Oakland with her girlfriend, Geneviève.

As a child, she watched “Jeopardy!” with her parents, she said, and dreamed of being a competitor one day. She read voraciously and absorbed anecdotes. In elementary school, she competed in geography bee competitions and reached the Ohio top 10 in 1992.

“I got a National Geographic atlas for it,” Ms. Schneider said.

When the opportunity to appear on “Jeopardy!” popped up, she said, unsure of how to discuss her gender identity.

In the end, she decided to just acknowledge it – by wearing a trans pride flag pin on one episode.

The decision, Ms Schneider said, was in part inspired by Kate Freeman, who wore a similar pin in December 2020 when she became what many believe was the first openly transgender woman to win on “Jeopardy!”

“It was something that I wanted to come out and show my pride without making it the center of what I was doing there,” Ms. Schneider said. “Because I was just there to answer questions and make money. “

Ms Schneider’s record drew positive attention to the long-running quiz after it was rocked by the drama over who would definitely succeed Alex Trebek, the host for over 36 years.

Mr. Trebek died in November 2020 from pancreatic cancer. He was 80 years old.

Over the summer, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produces the show, announced that Mike Richards, executive producer of the show, will be the permanent host. The decision disappointed “Jeopardy!” fans who had invested in a series of famous hosts on the show appeared to be auditioning to replace Mr. Trebek.

The show then had to deal with fallout from a report by The Ringer that revealed Offensive comments Mr. Richards made about women in a podcast in 2014. Mr. Richards resigned his role as host and executive producer shortly after the report was released.

Sony later announced that it would keep Mr. Jennings and Mayim Bialik, a sitcom actress, as hosts.

Ms. Schneider is not allowed to say how far she went on the show. The next episode, in which she took on Nate Levy, a screenplay coordinator from Los Angeles, and Sarah Wrase, an accountant from Monroe, Michigan, was scheduled to air Thursday.

Ms Schneider said her advice to anyone looking to replicate her success was ‘just be curious’.

She added, “The way to know a lot is to want to know a lot.”

Kitty bennett contributed research.

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