With more than $1 million in winnings, she’s unstoppable.
Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider is catching a lot of attention, and it’s for good reason.
Since making her debut months ago on the game show, she’s earned more than $1.1 million and won 37 consecutive games. (To put that into perspective, Ken Jennings holds the longest streak in the show’s history with an astonishing 74 straight wins, followed by Matt Amodio with 38.)
“It’s been a surreal experience these last couple of months,” Schneider told Katie during an Instragram Live chat on Thursday. “I had some anticipation coming in that there might be potentially a lot of negativity and things like that, and I’ve been really just overwhelmed by how little negativity there’s been.”
As the show’s first openly transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, her growing popularity and historic wins are also being heralded as a major step for the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, she’s even scored a nomination for an award from Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Schneider says going into the tapings, she understood the importance of her representation for the show’s audience.
“Because Jeopardy! reaches an older demographic that has had a lifetime of experience before trans people were accepted and visible, for a lot of [fans], this is kind of their first major exposure to a trans person,” she said. “So that was definitely something I was very conscious of while we were taping the episodes, that I really needed to be putting my best foot forward.”
Schneider credits her success on the beloved game show to her “love of learning,” something that also runs in her family. In fact, Schneider’s late father tried out for Jeopardy! when she was a kid and almost made it on.
So what does the future hold after the show? While Schneider thinks Jennings is doing a “great” job as the current host, she says she would “certainly” consider taking the coveted permanent hosting position if asked. In addition to traveling, she added that she’s also considering writing a book and exploring other opportunities that have come from her time in the spotlight.
“That’s really the beauty of it is that I now have the freedom to take some time to do that without worrying about the bills getting paid, if I choose that route,” she said.
Watch Katie’s full conversation with Schneider here: