Jeopardy! icon Amy Schneider gracefully bows out as historic streak ended by new queer champ

Amy Schneider on Jeopardy!

Jeopardy! star Amy Schneider’s record-breaking streak on the beloved game show has come to an end.

Wednesday (26 January) saw Schneider’s 40-game reign ended by Chicago-based librarian Rhone Talsma, after Schneider had racked up nearly $1.4 million (£1 million) in prize money.

The California-based software-engineering manager won the hearts of viewers during her incredible run, becoming the first woman to ever surpass $1 million in earnings on the series. In total she won nearly $1.4 million (£1m)

Schneider holds the record for the second-longest streak on Jeopardy!, but she is most proud of the way she has been able to help the trans community.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Schneider said: “The best outcome of all of this always is going to be whatever help I’ve been able to offer the trans community.

“I’m here because of the sacrifices countless trans people have made, often to the extent of risking their lives. To do my part to move that cause forward, it’s really special.”

Indeed, the TV star is now the first trans person to ever qualify for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions – meaning she will return on screens later this year.

Reflecting further on her iconic run, the quiz champion told People magazine: “When I started, my biggest goal was just to win four games.

“Not only did I end up winning 10 times as many, but I’ve heard from so many people, especially trans people and their loved ones, about how much it’s meant to them to see me succeed, and that’s something I will always, always be proud of.”

Schneider added: “This Jeopardy! run is most likely what I will be remembered for, and if so, I’d be quite content to have that as my legacy.”

However, with fame came increased attention, resulting in Amy Schneider being on the receiving end of transphobic and misogynistic harassment online.

Despite this, she made sure to emphasise messages that had have been supportive as she did her best to use her visibility to create positive change.

On Twitter, Schneider came across a post detailing how her TV presence helped to teach an elderly man how to be more accepting of transgender people.

According to Schneider, this was “one of the best things I could hear”.

In an interview with NPR, she recalled reading: “After two to three years of conversation, you being on Jeopardy! every night has taught my dad to be accepting of trans people. You’re the first person he’s used correct pronouns with, an 83-year-old man saying, this isn’t too hard.”