Jeopardy! contestant Amy Schneider has become the first out trans person in the show’s history to make the Tournament of Champions.
Schneider earned her spot in the annual champions event last month after winning her fifth game in a row. Since then, the engineering student from Oakland, California, has continued her winning ways, picking up her 11th consecutive win on Wednesday, December 1. So far, she has amassed winnings of $421,200, putting her in the top ten highest earners this year.
“Once I got to episodes three and four, I knew the fifth one was in sight,” Schneider told ABC7 News. “Once I got it, it was a great feeling, mostly because I was having fun and I didn’t want to stop. By qualifying for the fifth one, I knew I would come back.”
While Schneider isn’t the first out trans contestant to win a game (that honor belongs to Kate Freeman), she is the first to make the Tournament of Champions. And this opportunity to represent the trans community clearly means a lot to Schneider, who has worn a trans pride flag pin throughout her time on the show.
In a recent video posted on the official Jeopardy! Twitter account, Schneider discussed her reasons for wearing the pin.
Thank you for your thoughtful message, Amy. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Xj02Jd8Nkm
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2021
“Thanksgiving is a time for family, and sadly it’s still true for a lot of trans people that that can be difficult for them, that they may have a difficult relationship with their families,” she said. “I’m fortunate enough not to have that issue myself, but I know it’s out there, so I just wanted to send that message of support.”
Originally from Ohio, Schneider told ABC7 News that growing up there, “the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes. [So] Seeing other trans women in a good spotlight inspired me to not be afraid of trying to compete in the thing I have always loved.”
“I am so incredibly grateful,” she added. “Hopefully I can send a positive message to the nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show too.”
Jeopardy!, Weeknights, Check Your Local Listings