“Jeopardy!” has crowned a new champion.
Amy Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, zipped past previous record-holder Julia Collins on Wednesday with the most consecutive wins for a female contestant in the history of the show. After topping Collins’ 20 consecutive wins from 2014 with 21 on Wednesday, Schneider went on to win her 22nd game on Thursday, now totaling $831,600.
“I never dreamed of matching Julia’s streak,” Schneider wrote in a Twitter post. “It’s hard to say how I felt: proud, dazed, happy, numb, all those things.” Schneider has kept a running diary of the competition on Twitter, where she also offers frequent updates on her cat, Meep.
Schneider, who is noted for wearing a signature pearl choker during “Jeopardy” games, had recently appeared on the show wearing pullover sweaters, which she said was in honor of Collins.
In an interview with the New York Times, Schneider, 42, said that Collins’ record was often on her mind during the competition. “I could pretend that I didn’t have my eye on the various leader boards at that point, but I was definitely aware,” Schneider said. “I knew what was at stake.”
Schneider joins Yale computer science Ph.D student Matt Amodio as a top winner in 2021. Amodio won 38 consecutive games and more than $1.5 million in prize money. He is now ranked at No. 2 on the all-time consecutive wins list behind only current host Ken Jennings with 74 wins.
Schneider also has drawn attention as a transgender woman. She told the Times that she was at first unsure about whether to discuss her gender identity on the air but decided to acknowledge her trans status by wearing a pin bearing the trans pride flag during one episode. She said that the decision was in part inspired by Kate Freeman, believed to be the first openly transgender “Jeopardy!” contestant, who wore a similar pin during competition in 2020.
During the host’s chats with each contestant during the game, Schneider also revealed that she has a large tattoo of Princess Ozma, a character from L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” sequels. The character, she said, was kidnapped as a baby by a sorceress, who enchanted her to become a boy. As she described on the episode, and wrote on Twitter: “Eventually, the enchantment is lifted, and she is revealed to be the beautiful princess she always was. So it seemed like the perfect image to commemorate my transition!”
Schneider now holds the No. 4 spot overall of “Jeopardy!” contests with consecutive wins; she is 10 from the No. 3 spot held by professional sports bettor James Holzhauer.