Amy Schneider Makes “Jeopardy!” History

"Jeopardy" contestant Amy Schneider is reaching historic milestones — and she isn't done yet.
Twitter/Jeopardy!

Out trans “Jeopardy!” phenomenon Amy Schneider brushed off a robbery attack earlier in the week and continued her historic run on January 7 when she became the first woman on the show — and just the fourth contestant ever — to surpass the $1 million mark in non-tournament play.

Schneider padded to her winnings with an extra $42,200 in her latest appearance, totaling $1,019,600 — all in 28 games.

“This has been something I have wanted since I can remember,” Schneider said after accomplishing the latest feat, according to Jeopardy.com. “Being in the history of the game I think is something. You know, the money doesn’t feel real yet but that is something that I will never not be proud of.”

The feel-good milestone came just four days after Schneider issued an announcement on Twitter stating that she was robbed and lost her ID, credit cards, and phone. The attack left her unable to sleep for at least a night, but she was able to recover in time to continue dominating the competition on the game show.

“It feels amazing, it feels strange,” said Schneider, who joined Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Matt Amodki as the only Jeopardy! contestants to hit $1 million. “It’s not a sum of money I ever anticipated would be associated with my name.”

Schneider’s success comes just over one year after Kate Freeman of Michigan became the first out trans contestant to win on “Jeopardy!” Schneider is destined for the Tournament of Champions, where she will be the first out trans participant.

Schneider’s latest accomplishment prompted a statement from GLAAD, which emphasized that her success is a key step forward for trans representation across America.

“Amy Schneider’s incredible run on Jeopardy! allows families all over the country to get to know her as someone who is great at word puzzles, has in-depth knowledge on a range of topics, and who also happens to be a transgender woman,” Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation, said in a written statement. “Amy is using her history-making appearances and new platform to raise awareness of transgender issues and share a bit of her personal story too.”

Schneider’s rise to fame, however, has been accompanied by anti-trans harassment. She turned to Twitter on New Year’s Eve to acknowledge that she had been repeatedly — and deliberately — misgendered by others who contacted her.

“I’d like to thank all the people who have taken the time, during this busy holiday season, to reach out and explain to me that, actually, I’m a man,” Schneider said. “Every single one of you is the first person ever to make that very clever point, which had never once before crossed my mind.”

On January 9, Schneider published a thread of tweets summarizing the highlights from the moment she surpassed $1 million. By the end of that day, she said, she was exhausted and needed to return within 12 hours — with a new goal in mind: to catch Holzhauer for third-longest streak all time.

“That quest starts tomorrow, see you then!” she wrote.

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