Amy Schneider Loses On ‘Jeopardy!’ After 2nd-Longest Winning Streak In History


After 40 consecutive victories and nearly $1.4 million in prize money, Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider — the show’s longest-running female and transgender competitor — lost on Wednesday, ending the second-longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history.

Key Facts

During Wednesday’s show, Schneider led the other contestants before the Final Jeopardy round, but she ultimately lost to Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma after failing to identify the only country on Earth whose name ends with the letter H.

Her reign on Jeopardy! came to an end just two days after she became the show’s second longest-running contestant, besting Matt Amodio’s 38-win streak in 2021 — she’s still well behind current host Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games in 2004.

Schneider has won $1,382,800, making her the fourth contestant in Jeopardy! history to reach seven figures in regular-season play, behind Jennings ($2,520,700), the famously aggressive 2019 contestant James Holzhauer ($2,462,216) and Amodio ($1,518,601).

Schneider is also the top-earning and longest-running female contestant in history, and the first transgender person to qualify for the show’s annual Tournament of Champions.

The answer to the clue that stumped Schneider, by the way, is Bangladesh.

What To Watch For

Schneider plans to appear in Jeopardy!’s Tournament of Champions later this year, according to Sony Pictures Television, the show’s production company. These future appearances could add to her winnings: Jennings has netted almost $4.4 million from regular-season and tournament games, and Brad Rutter — whose original appearance on Jeopardy! in 2000 was subject to a 5-game cap — has raked in more than $4.9 million.

Key Background

Schneider lives in Berkeley, California, and works as an engineering manager. The 42-year-old grew up in Ohio, where she secured a top-ten finish in the 1992 statewide geography bee and was voted most likely to appear on Jeopardy! by her eighth-grade class. In interviews, Schneider credited her Jeopardy! success to her quick buzzer reaction times (honed partly by practicing at home with a ballpoint pen), her ability to retain information and interpret confusing clues on the fly, a lifelong interest in trivia and some remedial pop culture lessons from her girlfriend. Schneider — who says she’s received transphobic online comments — told Good Morning America earlier this week the most enjoyable part of her Jeopardy! stint has been “expressing myself and representing the entire community of trans people.”


Schneider’s months-long winning streak came during a struggle for stability on Jeopardy!. Former host Alex Trebek died in 2020, and a slate of celebrity guests temporarily helmed Jeopardy! until the show settled on former executive producer Mike Richards as its primary host in mid-2021. But within weeks of his hiring, Richards resigned after The Ringer published offensive comments he made on a podcast several years ago. Sony says Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik will serve as stand-in hosts until at least the end of this season.

Surprising Fact

Lengthy Jeopardy! winning streaks have become increasingly common, with five of the show’s top 10 longest win-streaks taking place within the last five years. It’s unclear why so many Jeopardy! competitors are sticking around for longer, but some ex-contestants and commentators think it could be linked to more online preparation resources, a recent spike in applications from would-be contestants and a more aggressive and risk-tolerant style of wagering popularized by Holzhauer three years ago. Meanwhile, Holzhauer — a professional gambler — told the New York Times earlier this month he thinks the trend is probably random.

Further Reading

Amy Schneider and the Art of Keeping a ‘Jeopardy!’ Winning Streak Secret (The Ringer)

‘Jeopardy!’ Keeps Seeing Winning Streaks. Champions Ponder Why. (New York Times)