Jeopardy! royalty Amy Schneider is inching closer and closer to breaking the all-time record for most consecutive wins on the iconic game show.
As shared by The New York Times, Schneider has notched 39 consecutive wins, passing the 38-game second-place record previously held by Matt Amodio. That historic achievement makes her the second-highest consecutive winner in the show’s history. The all-time record is held by host Ken Jennings, set in 2004. So far, Schneider has won $1.3 million.
The engineering manager from Oakland, California is the first woman to pass $1 million. The next goalpost, however, is a lengthy one. Jennings’ streak for most ever wins stands at 74 games. Coincidentally, Jennings was the host when Schneider passed Amodio’s record.
In 2003, Jeopardy! got rid of a rule limiting contestants to only five wins in a row. Since then, only about a dozen or so have been able to win more than ten. Three of those happened this season.
Schneider is one of the most attention grabbing contestants ever, having to answer questions not only about her streak but her personal life as well. She was initially unsure about how to address her trans identity on the show, especially since she wanted the focus to be on her skill level and nothing else. Eventually, she wore a trans flag pin on camera.
“I didn’t want it to seem like something that was secret or that was shameful or anything, or that I was unaware of the significance of it,” Schneider told LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, “because I knew that trans people — trans ‘Jeopardy!’ fans — were watching my episodes extra carefully, just as I did with the previous trans contestants.”
She recently wrote an essay for Defector about how she retains info for her historic run.
“I’ll generally observe that I was born with a brain that, for whatever reason, retains knowledge well. I don’t have a ‘photographic’ memory or anything like that; God knows I’ve spent enough time hunting my apartment for my phone to disprove that idea. But while many people, upon learning that, for example, ‘oviparous’ is an adjective meaning ‘egg-laying,’ will quite sensibly forget it almost immediately, I will probably remember it, and without any particular effort.”
Jeopardy! airs weekdays on the ABC network.