Amy Schneider grew up watching “Jeopardy!,” honing her trivia skills from an early age. Now, decades later, a legion of fans young and old are watching her set record after record as a long-running champion on the show. On Wednesday, she notched her 21st straight victory, the most by a woman.
The milestone comes during a remarkable run for Schneider, an engineering manager who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and now lives in Oakland, Calif. Last week she became the woman with the most all-time earnings in “Jeopardy!” history, and on Tuesday she tied Julia Collins’s 2014 mark of 20 consecutive wins. Earlier this year, she became the first transgender contestant to make the Tournament of Champions, where the top players from each season compete.
Schneider, 42, now holds a top-five spot in three of the show’s four Hall of Fame categories: consecutive games won, highest winnings during regular-season play and all-time winnings — despite having yet to participate in a lucrative tournament. As of Wednesday, she had earned $806,000.
“That is quite a streak,” guest host Ken Jennings, who holds the record for most wins in a row, said after Schneider’s latest win.
Schneider has been intentional about paying homage to the women whose records she has broken. After she surpassed Larissa Kelly’s $655,930 of all-time earnings, Kelly congratulated her on setting “new standards for excellence, on the show and off.”
“I’m honored to be in your company,” Schneider replied on Twitter. “And I look forward to some day watching the woman who beats us both!”
And on the episode where she recorded her 20th win, she wore a mauve sweater inspired by Collins, who in addition to racking up wins and hundreds of thousands of dollars became known for her impressive sweater collection.
“I wanted to wear a sweater because that was kind of her thing,” Schneider said on the show, referring to Collins, whom she named as one of her favorite players. “Obviously being such a successful woman on the show is meaningful to me. … She played very straightforward, just being smart, just being fast on that buzzer, and I like that about her as well.” (cont.)