Trans Jeopardy! star Amy Schneider is continuing to make history.
Schneider, a life-long Jeopardy! fan, appeared on the show for the first time on 17 November, and has since embarked on an incredible winning streak.
She became the first ever trans contestant to secure a place in the show’s Tournament of Champions. On Wednesday (29 December), she broke the women’s record for longest streak, with her 21st game, having already become the highest-earning woman in Jeopardy! history.
She extended that lead on Thursday (30 December) with her 22nd win, and has now racked up $831,600 in winnings.
Speaking to The New York Times, Schneider admitted she “knew what was at stake” as she went into the latest round of games, which were filmed some months ago.
“I could pretend that I didn’t have my eye on the various leaderboards at that point, but I was definitely aware,” she said. “I knew what was at stake.”
Larissa Kelly, who had held the record for highest earnings by a female player, tweeted her support for Schneider.
“Well, it was fun to hold a Jeopardy! record for a few years…but it’s been even more fun to watch [Amy Schneider] set new standards for excellence, on the show and off,” she tweeted.
Schneider replied: “Thanks so much, I’m honored to be in your company, and I look forward to some day watching the woman who beats us both!”
Thanks so much, I’m honored to be in your company, and I look forward to some day watching the woman who beats us both!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) December 24, 2021
The engineer from California could be on track to break even more records, as she is currently in fifth place for the greatest number of consecutive games won, and in fourth place for highest-ever earnings in regular season play.
Amy Schneider wants to show that trans people are ‘just normal people’
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment this month, Amy Schneider explained that having grown up believing that trans people were “weirdos”, which “was definitely one of the factors that held me back from realising I was trans for so long”.
Now, she hopes to show Jeopardy! viewers that trans folk are, in fact, just normal people.
“Anything that can be done to show trans people as just normal people I think is a great thing,” she said.
“We want to get to a point where trans people are less pioneering and like, you know, that the first trans person to do whatever is just kind of like, whatever! Why wouldn’t a trans person do that?
“Like, they could do anything that anyone else can do, and there’s nothing unusual about it.”
However, she added: “I don’t actually think about it that much.
“I was definitely aware, going on the show, that being a trans person in the spotlight could be an interesting thing.
“But, you know, it’s just what I am, and there’s sort of, like, nothing to do about it. It’s just who I am.”