Amy Schneider loses on “Jeopardy!” after historic streak.


Amy Schneider ended her streak on “Jeopardy!” with 40 wins and $1,382,800 in winnings.

Casey Durkin/Sony Pictures Telev

Amy Schneider’s historic streak on “Jeopardy!” came to an end on Wednesday, Jan. 25, after she amassed 40 consecutive wins over nearly two months of airtime.

Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, ended her run on “Jeopardy!” with the show’s second-longest winning streak, trailing only Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in 2004. By winning $1,382,800 during her matches, only three contestants earned more than her in regular-season play.

“It’s really been an honor,” Schneider said. “To know that I’m one of the most successful people at a game I’ve loved since I was a kid and to know that I’m a part of its history now, I just don’t know how to process it.”

Schneider’s streak became historic in early December when she became the first transgender woman to qualify for the show’s Tournament of Champions. She later became the winningest woman in the show’s history,

But on Wednesday, Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma edged Schneider in “Final Jeopardy!” to become the new champion. Talsma responded correctly to a key Daily Double in the “Double Jeopardy!” round to keep the match close before the final clue.

They went to “Final Jeopardy!” with Schneider at $27,600 and Talsma at $17,600, and it was the librarian who came through with the clutch answer.

The “Final Jeopardy!” clue was: “The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an ‘H,’ It’s also one of the 10 most populous.”

The correct answer given by Talsma was “What is Bangladesh?” Schneider did not provide an answer.

Talsma ended up winning $29,600, and Schneider landed in second place with $19,600 after losing $8,000 with her bet.

Schneider later said she knew Talsma would be a tough competitor.

“I still came very close to winning, but I did feel like maybe I was slipping a little bit,” she said. “Once it was clear that he was fast on the buzzer, I knew it was going to be a battle all the way.”

She will return for the show’s Tournament of Champions in the fall and will go up against Matt Amodio, who won $1,518,601 across 38 games last year.

Jonathan Fisher, the man who dethroned Amodio before going on to 11 consecutive wins, is also set to compete in Tournament of Champions.

Talsma, the new champion, now has a chance at his own winning streak to model Fisher. He said after Wednesday’s show he was “still in shock” at beating Schneider.

“This is my favorite show…I was so excited to be here and I just wanted to do my best. I did not expect to be facing a 40-day champion, and I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant. I just really didn’t think it was going to be me, so I’m thrilled.”

This story was originally published January 26, 2022 7:30 PM.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.
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