With her 39th straight victory, Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider officially broke Matt Amodio’s summer winning streak on Monday night.
After host Ken Jennings introduced her competitors, Toledo nurse Joanne Mercer and New York attorney Erin O’Leary, Schneider quickly broke away from the pack. She leaped on “90s R&B & Hip-Hop,” answering the first question (about the rapper behind “U Can’t Touch This”) instantly.
“It’s Hammer time, yes,” Jennings said, smiling in response to Schneider’s correct answer.
Despite several Triple Stumpers, Schneider closed out the game’s first round with $6,600, thousands ahead of Mercer and O’Leary. By the end of the Double Jeopardy round, she had pulled away with a “lock” of $37,600, meaning that she had already won enough to guarantee her victory.
So although Schneider lost $25,000 after betting on the wrong answer to the Final Round, it didn’t matter. With 36 right answers, including two Daily Doubles, and cinching a final score of $12,600, Schneider was declared Monday’s winner, and a new record-holder.
Since beginning the game in November, Schneider has racked up game-show accolades alongside her daily earnings. With her 11th win in December, she became the first trans contestant to earn a spot in the Tournament of Champions. On Jan. 7, she became the first woman to earn more than $1 million in the game. And after Monday’s win, Schneider now has the second-longest winning streak of all time.
After passing Amodio, a Yale Ph.D. student from Medina, Ohio, Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, is second in victories only to the inimitable Jennings.
Amodio’s winning streak, dubbed the “Amodio Rodeo” came to an end in October when he missed out on two Daily Doubles and botched Final Jeopardy. He walked away from the blue board a champion, having earned over $1.5 million for providing 1,299 correct answers.
He also became the second-winningest player of all time when he broke James Holzhauer’s 2019 32-game streak. Of Amodio’s performance, co-host Mayim Bialik said, “He was unbelievable, and also really, really fun to watch... I don’t think that I’ve experienced in all the time that I’ve been here anything like that, with the pace and intensity that he was able to keep up.”
Jennings, who shares the host’s podium with Bialik, said of Amodio, “The one thing I admire more than anything else on Jeopardy! is consistency. It’s so hard to come out and win day after day and week after week.”
But when Schneider began competing only a month after Amodio’s departure, her own pluck and skill proved that Jeopardy! would have two back-to-back winning phenomenons. And with Amodio’s record now behind her, and a grand total of $1,319,800 in earnings, Schneider will have to set her sights on Jenning’s own game-winning consistency. To earn the top winning-streak spot, she must now break Jenning’s 74-game winning streak, set back in 2004.