Amy Schneider: 5 Things About Trans ‘Jeopardy!’ Icon Poised To Win ‘Tournament Of Champions’

Learn all about Amy Schneider, the history-making 'Jeopardy!' contestant who is in the finals of 'Tournament of Champions', with a great chance to win it all.

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Amy Schneider
View gallery
Image Credit: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

  • Amy Schneider won 40 games and nearly $1.4 million on Jeopardy!
  • She’s competing in Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions and has reached the finals.
  • Amy is transgender.
  • She got married in May 2022.

Amy Schneider kicked butt on Jeopardy!, and now she’s dominating on the Tournament of Champions. The 43-year-old was automatically seeded into the semi-finals because of her incredible performance on Jeopardy!. Amy defeated Tyler Rhode and Maureen O’Neil in the Tournament of Champions semi-finals on Nov. 9, finishing the match with $19,664. Amy officially secured her spot in the finals that begin Nov. 14, where the first contestant to win three games earns the $250,000 grand prize. Before the semi-finals match, Amy played in a no-stakes exhibition game against Matt Amodio and Mattea Roach. Amy came in third place behind Mattea, the runner-up, and Matt, the winner.

Amy told USA Today how she prepared for Tournament of Champions. “Mostly, it was the same stuff that I’ve been doing prior to my first run, just going through old games and looking for things I didn’t know,” she said. “I did practice writing down Final Jeopardy! answers, because the act of writing it down had thrown me off. I was just visualizing all of the scenarios that might happen.”

Amy Schneider
Amy Schneider on ‘Jeopardy!’ (Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

Amy made history on Jeopardy! with a 40-game winning streak that earned her nearly $1.4 million. She became the fourth contestant ever to pass the $1 million mark on the quiz show. Amy won her first game on November 17, 2021, and dominated right through to January 26, 2022 when she lost to Chicago librarian Rhone Talsmam. Keep readying to find out everything you need to know about Amy Schneider.

1. Amy is from Ohio.

Amy is originally from Ohio, though she now resides in Oakland, California, according to her Jeopardy! profile. She lives in Oakland with her girlfriend, Genevieve, and their cat, Meep.

Amy and Genevieve got married on May 9, 2022, but Amy waited until September to announce the big news. She shared Instagram photos of the couple on their special day, writing, “Genevieve and I are delighted to announce that on Monday, May 9, we were married in a small private ceremony at the Alameda County Recorder. We will still be having a traditional wedding & reception next summer, but our lives have been much too busy this year to get very far in planning it, and we couldn’t wait that long to proclaim our love and commitment to each other. Thank you, everyone for your support!”

2. She’s an engineering manager.

Amy’s current occupation is an engineering manager. She’s been working at Fieldwire in the San Francisco Bay Area since May 2021, according to her LinkedIn page. Before that, Amy was employed as an engineering manager at SoftBank Robotics America from December 2019 to May 2021. She also previously worked as an engineering lead and a software developer. She attended University of Dayton for college and studied computer science, according to her LinkedIn.

Amy Schneider
Amy Schneider (Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

3. She’s a trans woman.

Amy has been open about being a trans woman throughout her appearances on Jeopardy!. However, in a Twitter thread at the end of November 2021, Amy explained how she didn’t want her stint on the show to be “too much about being trans.” She added, “The fact is, I don’t actually think about being trans all that often, and so when appearing on national television, I wanted to represent that part of my identity accurately: as important, but also relatively minor. But I also didn’t want it to seem as if it was some kind of shameful secret. While it’s gratifying to know that people didn’t necessarily know I was trans until they read about it, I do want people to know that aspect of me. I think being trans is really cool!”

4. She was robbed.

Ahead of her 25th game on January 4, Amy revealed on Twitter that she was robbed. “Hi all! So, first off: I’m fine,” she tweeted, before adding, “But I got robbed yesterday, lost my ID, credit cards, and phone. I then couldn’t really sleep last night, and have been dragging myself around all day trying to replace everything.” Amy then said that because of the robbery, she likely wouldn’t be writing her game thread for the Jan. 4 episode. “And if I keep winning, it may take a bit for me to get caught up,” Amy said. “Thanks for your patience!”

5. She’s made ‘Jeopardy’ history.

There’s a few ways that Amy has made Jeopardy! history. For starters, she’s the first transgender contestant to reach the next Tournament of Champions, which previous champs like Matt Amodio, Jonathan Fisher, and Brian Chang are also eligible for. She’s also the first woman to break the top earnings spots and is the show’s top-earning trans contestant. Plus, Amy broke former contestant Julia Collins‘ record of most consecutive wins for a woman, after winning her 21st match on December 28. (Julia had previously set the record with 20 wins in 2014.) “In my highest of high hopes, I never dreamed of matching Julia’s streak,” Amy wrote on Twitter, after her historic victory. “It’s hard to say how I felt: proud, dazed, happy, numb, all those things,” she added.

Mayim Bialik, who shares Jeopardy! hosting duties with former champion Ken Jennings, spoke about Amy’s dominance in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife in February 2022. “Her run was historic in so many ways,” the Call Me Kat star said. “You know, she’s a really, really powerful figure. And I think it’s also so important to point out that, I consider Jeopardy a nonpartisan, non-political place. It’s a place where people want to tune in to be entertained by people in tremendous intellect. And Amy did that. Representation matters in the culture that we live in,” she added.

Following Amy’s historical moment of crossing the $1 milllion mark in January, Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation told HollywoodLife, “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. 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.”

More From Our Partners