Trans ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant Amy Schneider is the fourth highest winner ever


Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider is on a roll. The Oakland, California engineering manager just hit a 16-game-winning streak on Wednesday, and with total winnings of more than $630k, she became the fourth highest money winner of all time.

The following person on the list is Matt Amodio, who won more than $1.5 million. The all-time highest winner, according to the show, is Ken Jennings, with a haul of $2.5 million. He’s also won the most games in a row at 74. Jennings is the host of the show, a position he shares with Mayim Bialik.

Schneider is also making history for another reason – she’s the first trans contestant to make it to the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions in November.

“I don’t know about you, but as a Jeopardy! diehard myself, there is nothing I like more than watching a great champion play the game at such a high level of excellence as we’ve seen from our champion, Amy Schneider,” Jennings said on the show, according to Yahoo! News. “She’s so impressive out here.”

That’s high praise coming from the top player of all time. On the Dec. 22 show, Schneider missed that day’s Final Jeopardy! question, but she’s still in the race to keep winning.

“You are still a 16-day champion with $631,400,” Jennings said. “Congrats to you. Not very many 16-day champions in Jeopardy! history.”

Schneider recently said that her being trans isn’t why she went on the show. She went on the show to win.

“Being trans is an important, huge foundational part of my identity and also, not,” Schneider told The Daily Beast. “I’m not going on ‘Jeopardy!‘ to be trans on ‘Jeopardy!‘ I’m going on ‘Jeopardy!‘ to try to win some money.”

She said the show’s producers have been exceptionally cool about everything.

“I really want to praise everybody on Jeopardy!” she said. “Until I brought it up, they never mentioned or referred to me being trans. And had I not brought it up, it was clear that they wouldn’t. And it would never have been commented on if I didn’t want it to be. I really appreciated that about them. I never had one even mildly uncomfortable moment around that with anyone on the Jeopardy! staff, and that was really, really great.”

She’s not the first trans person to compete on the show, either, which she was quick to point out. Fran Fried from Connecticut competed in 2017, and Kate Freeman became the first openly trans winner last year.

“Those were very important to me, the trans contestants that have been on before,” Schneider said. “It suddenly felt a lot more uncomfortable to be on TV after I came out, but seeing them there made me feel like it’s perfectly fine. It’s funny: the producer said at some point, ‘I don’t even know how many trans contestants have been on Jeopardy! and I was like, ‘I know.'”