Amy Schneider has totally shaken up Jeopardy!’s all-time records
There’s absolutely nothing rather like a game-show winning streak. It seems like a success for the routine folks, getting to head out on television and control with a secret power they can expose to the entire world. That’s definitely the case for Jeopardy! entrant Amy Schneider, the Oakland, California-based engineering supervisor whose 39-game winning streak is the second-highest in the program’s 56-year history.
And interestingly enough, the entrant in top place, Ken Jennings — whose 2004 run covered after 74 straight wins — was the one hosting as Amy made brand-new history.
Schneider’s run began with a come-from-behind triumph back on Nov. 17, 2021, when she entered into Last Jeopardy behind five-day champ Andrew He. However Schneider was the only entrant who properly determined Manhattan as the tomb of Alexander Hamilton and other early U.S. Treasury secretaries, starting a run which has actually lasted well into the brand-new year.
It’s hard not to be charmed by Amy, who apparently hypes herself up before every game the same way I did before high school basketball games: thinking about the lyrics to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. She’s described the game show as her “Olympics,” explaining to Jennings that “I’m not going to be this good at anything else, probably.”
Until Schneider’s run, the pantheon of Jeopardy! domination has actually been limited to four masters: Jennings, James Holzhauer, Matt Amodio, and Brad Rutter. Between the four of them, they owned the top three spots in Jeopardy!’s four categories of success: consecutive games won, highest winnings in regular season play, single-video game winnings, and all-time winnings including tournaments, the show’s equivalent of a postseason.
Jennings, whose 2004 run has become the stuff of legend, still owns the “most consecutive games” and “regular season winnings” categories with his 74-episode stint and $2,520,700 prize winnings. Holzhauer, a professional gambler, won more money in a single game of Jeopardy! than anyone else with $131,127. And Rutter, who first appeared on the game show in 2000 and most recently appeared in 2020, remains the tournaments-included money champ.
Each of the champions has their own style, which has been noted by fans. An analysis on r/Jeopardy using data from the fan-created J! Archive shows that while Amodio might have gotten more questions right per game than Schneider, she has gotten fewer questions wrong.
Schneider is also more conservative with her wagers than other elite champions. Holzhauer, for example, only needed 27 video games to pass the $2 million mark. Schneider needed 28 games to achieve half of that.
But if these wagers are working for Schneider, there’s certainly no reason for her to stop. Her domination in her games is clear and consistent: She typically stays on top of her opponents throughout the first round, widens the gap throughout Double Jeopardy, and enters Final Jeopardy at a point where a correct or incorrect answer truly doesn’t matter. This was the case in her 35th consecutive victory, when even losing $20,000 through an incorrect guess on the name of France’s national theater award (the Molière) wasn’t enough to change the final outcome.
There have been some transphobic reactions to Schneider, who is trans, with some even nonsensically calling for gender-segregated divisions of Jeopardy!, which is absurd in a video game program where the highest amount of physical activity is pressing a buzzer.
But it seems likely Schneider will steamroll over the haters just as easily as she has actually her challengers. Over on the subreddit, fans have actually currently put in her in Jeopardy!’s Mount Rushmore.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.