Amy Schneider has won the “Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions” after becoming the first contestant of the series to win three games, which it took six to achieve.
The writer from Oakland, California, is also the first openly transgender participant in the gameshow.
“I’m going to keep going out there and being me,” she said. “Being in places where people like me haven’t been before, it’s a very powerful thing to do.”
Her opponent’s Andrew He, a software developer from San Francisco who won two of the six games, and Sam Buttrey, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School from Pacific Grove, California, won one game in the series.
“I feel amazing,” Schneider said after her win. “Earlier in the finals, I had this sudden moment of seeing myself and being like ‘I’m on stage in the Tournament of Champions finals,’ and that was crazy. And I won! It’s a great feeling.”
Scheider pulled out her third and final win despite finding no Daily Doubles. Buttrey landed on all three, but he trailed both Schneider and He entering the round of Final Jeopardy!
Schneider was in the lead with $15,600; He had $14,200; and Buttrey had $8,000.
The Final Jeopardy! Category of plays gave the clue: “The January 12, 1864 Washington Evening Star Reported on a Performance of This ‘Dashing Comedy’ to a ‘Full and Delighted House.’” The correct response, provided by He and Schneider but not Buttrey, was “What is ‘Our American Cousin’?”
Though Buttrey wagered everything, he did not guess correctly. Both Schneider and He responded correctly. He wagered $2,801, finishing with $17,001, and Schneider wagered $13,000 for a final score of $28,600 to win the game and the tournament.
Schneider won $250,000 with the grand prize. He left with the second place prize of $100,000, and Buttrey’s third place position garnered him $50,000.
Schneider and He had faced off before The Tournament of Champions, first competing against each other in Season 38. Schneider cut He’s five-game streak short, which began the start of her 40-game run on the show that landed her in the No. 2 all-time spot, second only to Ken Jennings.
Schneider’s win ended Season 38, which featured super-streakers like her, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach breaking and creating some records. The 38th season also gave way to game show’s first official postseason, which included the first-of-its-kind Second Chance event and the biggest Tournament of Champions field to date.