Jeopardy! powerhouse Amy Schneider has won the show’s Tournament of Champions, becoming the first openly trans contestant both to compete and scoop the $250,000 grand prize.
In her initial run on the show, she achieved the second-longest streak in history and became the first woman to win more than $1 million, eventually taking home $1.4 million.
Coming into the final episode of the Tournament of Champions on Monday (21 November), Schneider was tied with fellow contestant Andrew He, as both had secured two wins each, while third finalist Sam Buttrey had one win.
In the best-to-three final, though, Schneider was the first contestant to hit three wins, with He managing two wins and Buttrey securing one.
Schneider was named the champion after correctly guessing that “What is ‘Our American Cousin?’” was the answer to the clue: “The January 12, 1864 Washington Evening Star reported on a performance of this ‘dashing comedy’ to ‘a full and delighted house’.”
The former software engineer, 43, said that she felt “amazing” following the big win.
“Earlier in the finals, I had this sudden moment of seeing myself and being like, ‘I’m on stage in the Tournament of Champions finals,’ and that was crazy. And I won! It’s a great feeling,” she said.
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 22, 2022
Following the win, Schneider said she owed “so much to so many people”, particularly thanking her wife Genevieve, who she married in a private ceremony in May this year.
“I can’t find enough ways to say how lucky I am that the most amazing woman in the world has chosen to spend her life with me,” she wrote, leaving fans misty-eyed. “I love you, Genevieve, and I could never, ever have done this without you.”
I owe so much to so many people today. But above all, I can’t find enough ways to say how lucky I am that the most amazing woman in the world has chosen to spend her life with me. I love you, Genevieve, and I could never, ever have done this without you pic.twitter.com/gKwOfYz9C5
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) November 22, 2022
Congratulations! You had me yell and cheering at home alone as you won! You do the show proud. You remind all of us that every person deserves to be seen and cheered!
— Diane Crookham-Johnson (@DianeCJ) November 22, 2022
Since winning hearts with her massive Jeopardy! success last year, Amy Schneider has used her new platform to speak out against the increasing hostility facing trans people in the US today.
Just last week, she testified against a bill that would prevent trans youth in Ohio from accessing essential healthcare, such as hormone therapy.
Speaking at the bill’s legislative hearing on Wednesday 16 November, she warned that preventing trans youth from accessing such services would be dangerous.
“It’s so important that LGBTQ+ Ohioans and those who love them fight to protect the children whose health and safety would be endangered by this misguided legislation,” she said.
Back in April, Schneider delivered a press briefing in the White House, in which she decried the increasing amount of “scary” anti-trans legislation currently being pushed forward in the US.
“Some of [the bills] in particular that are denying medical services to trans youth – those are life-saving medical treatments and these bills will cause the deaths of children,” she said.
“That’s really sad to me and really frightening.”