Trans Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider simply cannot stop winning.
On Monday, Schneider clocked her 14th straight victory on the show. What’s more, her winnings have now reached $571,200, which, according to a press release, makes her the fourth all-time highest winner in Jeopardy! history, excluding tournaments.
“I’ve been watching the show since I was a kid,” Schneider said in a statement. “I’ve watched all the people on this list [of top winners], and to see my name up with them is a very good feeling.”
Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Representation for LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD, said in a statement that Schneider’s success is also a victory for the trans community.
“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,” Adams said. “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. We can’t wait to see how long her run lasts.”
Schneider first made waves on the show when she became the new champion during Trans Awareness Week in November. Schneider defeated five-time champion Andrew He when she was the only contestant to answer the Final Jeopardy question correctly.
An engineering manager living in Oakland, California, Schneider is not the first trans person to have appeared on the show. Nevertheless, her victories are bringing a lot of trans joy. After her first win, many trans people on Twitter expressed what Schneider’s win meant to them.
“i’m trans and it’s incredibly rare for us to win,” one user wrote, “especially with how there are several laws in place that make it harder for us to exist and prosper. seeing ourselves represented in such a way on public media like this is massive because we’re not used to succeeding.”
“I’m SOOO happy you’re succeeding and allowing the community to prosper,” wrote another.
A week later, after defending her title for five episodes in a row, Schneider qualified for the show’s Tournament of Champions, a yearly tournament between the show’s 15 contestants that won in the most episodes. She was the first trans person to qualify.
“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,” she wrote in an editorial in Newsweek. “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.”
On several episodes, Schneider has worn a pin of the transgender flag. She also recently explained to her Twitter followers the meaning behind a tattoo she has that honors her trans identity (which she has to cover up during the show for copyright reasons).
“My tattoo is indeed of Ozma of Oz,” she wrote. “For those who don’t know, L. Frank Baum wrote many sequels to The Wizard of Oz, and in all of them, the ruler of Oz was Princess Ozma. She had been the rightful heir, but was kidnapped as a baby by a sorceress, who enchanted her to become a boy.”
“Eventually, the enchantment is lifted,” Schneider continued, “and she is revealed to be the beautiful princess she always was. So it seemed like the perfect image to commemorate my transition!”
Schneider competes again on today’s episode.
Eventually, the enchantment is lifted, and she is revealed to be the beautiful princess she always was. So it seemed like the perfect image to commemorate my transition!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) December 10, 2021
Thank you for your thoughtful message, Amy. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xj02Jd8Nkm
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2021