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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Dani Anguiano in Los Angeles

Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider breaks new record amid historic winning streak

Amy Schneider is the first trans person to qualify for the show's Tournament of Champions.
Amy Schneider is the first trans person to qualify for the show's Tournament of Champions. Photograph: AP

Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider has broken yet another record this week.

Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, scored her 39th win on Monday night’s episode, giving her the second longest winning streak of any contestant. Since November, she has won about $1.3m, making her the first woman and fourth person to win more than $1m on the show. She has also become the first transgender person to qualify for Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions, an annual event with the game’s top players.

“It still feels unreal,” Schneider said in a statement to Variety. “Knowing that I had this chance, I was definitely thinking about it. Then Ken said it, and I thought, ‘Alright, I just accomplished this huge thing’ and it was pretty great.”

The 42-year-old has managed to answer 95% of questions correctly, according to Jeopardy!. Schneider surpassed Matt Amodio’s victory streak and now has the second highest number of consecutive victories of any contestant, behind Ken Jennings, whose 74-game streak is the longest in the show’s history.

Schneider, who is originally from Dayton, Ohio, has chronicled her experience on the show on social media, detailing the techniques she uses to tackle questions and recall facts as well as which questions stumped her. “While I still don’t necessarily understand why I tended to improve as the game went on, it had happened enough for me to start to have some faith in it,” she said of the most recent episode.

Schneider’s victory streak and social media posts have endeared her to Jeopardy! fans and made her a beacon for LGBTQ+ visibility. Schneider has said she had dreamed of being a contestant on the show since age five, and told Good Morning America on Monday that representing the trans community on the show has been the most rewarding part of her experience.

“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,” she said. “Just being a smart, confident woman and doing something super normal like being on Jeopardy!”

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