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Jeopardy Champ Amy Schneider Loses, But Wins for Trans Women

By Lori Perkins

Yesterday, Jeopardy champ Amy Schneider, finally ended her 40-game winning streak losing to Rhone Talsma, a Chicago librarian, just days after becoming the game show’s second highest all-time winner in Monday.

But by winning this ultimate American skill-based game show transmitted into nine million homes on a daily basis for nearly three months, Schneider, 42, an engineer from Oakland, California, brought trans lives to middle America, and the world.

It was not easy for Schneider, who received constant threats and disparagement on social media, but she more than rose to the occasion, starting an Instagram account about her daily preparations and thoughts, and bringing her authentic life to the public.

In an article in USA Today, Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of transgender representation, said Schneider's success on the show as a transgender women woman has provided a "bright spot" of LGBTQ visibility amid the political turmoil of discriminatory legislation being proposed in a number of states. He added, "Amy's achievement will be celebrated for years to come by 'Jeopardy!' fans and LGBTQ people everywhere."

Schneider wrote thank you notes to all the people on the show who helped her. Since she hadn’t received any of the $1,382,800 she had won on the show, she took paid sick days and a pay cut to keep playing.

In an article in The New York Times, Schneider said, that since her transition in 2017, she has made it a point to say yes to new experiences. “Because there was so much that I denied myself for so long, I’ll give anything a shot now.” That is how she ended up on Jeopardy.

And we are so glad she did.

She will participate in The Tournament of Champions against third place Jeopardy winner Matt Amodio in the fall.


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