Amy Schneider, a transgender woman and engineering manager from Oakland, California, recently became the defending Jeopardy! champion during Transgender Awareness Week and has now successfully defended her title five episodes in a row — meaning she now qualifies to compete in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, a yearly tournament between the show’s 15 contestants that won in the most episodes.
As of this date, Amy has scooped up over $295,200 in winnings over eight games, and that streak doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
In an interview with Newsweek, Schneider explained that she was originally scheduled to appear last year, before Alex Trebek’s passing.
“It was really disappointing not to get a chance to be on the show with Alex. It was a bummer, but things happen for a reason. And I don’t know that I’d have done as well last fall compared to now,” she said.
Schneider also added that “My girlfriend [of nine months] is much more into popular culture, so I feel like she’s given me at least a little bit more knowledge in that category. And I’ve had such a great time.”
After qualifying, Schneider also wrote an editorial in Newsweek, saying, “It’s a strange thing to think that I have made history as the first trans person to qualify for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. It was inspirational for me to see transgender contestants on the show before I became a contestant and I hope that I am now doing that same thing for all the other trans Jeopardy! fans out there.
“I hope I have given them the opportunity to see a trans person succeed.”
During the most recent episodes, Amy wore a pin of the transgender flag. Jeopardy! shared an interview with Schneider as she explained why she chose to wear it.
Thank you for your thoughtful message, Amy. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xj02Jd8Nkm
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2021