The Amy Schneider JEOPARDY run

The Tournament of Champions will be fascinating

Amy SchneiderI knew it would happen. Before I had a chance to watch the 41st Amy Schneider match, I got an email from The Hollywood Reporter indicating How ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider Fared in Her 41st Match. This arrived at 7:34 pm EST. The show airs at 7:30 pm on WTEN in the Albany, NY market. And people on the West Coast were even more peeved.

The actual headline, which I didn’t read until after I actually watched the episode, was even more explicit. “Jeopardy! Champ Amy Schneider’s Win Streak Ends. Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma dethroned Schneider after 40 games on Wednesday’s show.”

I note in the article that audiences seem to like these long runs. “Schneider’s winning streak — along with [Matt] Amodio’s [38 wins] earlier in the season — has been a boon for ratings on Jeopardy!” I’ll admit that I have been watching these shows as soon as they record, in the obviously futile attempt to not find out beforehand. It’s funny. I managed to watch all four NFL playoff games and never knew the score before I started viewing, though I did avoid the email and phone.

Looking back at her run, I had forgotten that, in her initial appearance, Amy was in 2nd place going into Final Jeopardy, but she got it correct and Andrew He, in his 6th game, did not.

Same as it ever was

She played a bunch of lock games, i.e., she couldn’t lose after Double Jeopardy, no matter what she did in the Final. Starting in game 12, she began to make large bets in FJ, $25,000 of her $36,800. I wondered if host Ken Jennings hexed the champion by stating that she “never” missed in the Final. She didn’t get the Final in game 16 and some games thereafter.

Frankly, all of those big wins became boring to me. Jennings reiterated some of Amy’s biographical points. The interview segment wasn’t designed to see the same person 20 or 32 or 38 times. And keeping the secret of the streak must have been tough.

But there were some things that I suppose helped me to find her appealing even after such a long run, some external. For game 20, she wore a sweater in honor of her favorite player, Julia Collins, who had won 20 games. I remember some of the right-wing press mocked Amy’s gender identification, writing that “she” broke Collins’ record.

And Amy was robbed at gunpoint over New Year’s weekend in Oakland, CA. She was shaken though otherwise fine, but she had to replace her ID, credit cards, and phone.

I got these right!

Still, the only sport for me watching the games was when Amy would get FJ wrong and I got it right. You can find the answers here.
Game 18: INTERNATIONAL LANDMARKS – In December 2020 an international agreement added nearly 3 feet to this; one surveyor lost half a toe in the effort
#23: MUSIC LEGENDS – Of their July 1957 first meeting at a church fair, one of this pair recalled: “I was a fat schoolboy and… he was drunk”
#29: 19th CENTURY NOTABLES – On his deathbed in France in 1890, he told his brother, “The sadness will last forever”
#33: CEMETERIES AND MEMORIALS – 60,000 are at rest in a National Memorial Cemetery opened in 1949 in the crater of an extinct volcano in this state
#36: FILMS OF THE 2000s – One of the screenwriters of this 2001 film described it as “‘Clueless’ meets ‘The Paper Chase”‘

The last game (so far)

The key to Game 41 was that Rhone Talsma, a LIBRARIAN, thank you, from Chicago, IL had to hit the second Daily Double in the DJ round. He had to bet a lot, and in fact, bet all $7800 and got it right. This was gutsy, especially since he wagered it all in the first round’s DD and lost $1400. This latter wager got his score well above half of Amy’s, where he was at the end of the round. $27,600 for Amy, $17,600 for Rhone, and $3,200 for Janice Hawthorne Timm.

As noted, he had to get FJ correct and Amy had to miss it. COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD: The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an H, it’s also one of the 10 most populous. I figured it out myself at the last second.

But Amy will be OK. She’ll be in the next Tournament of Champions against Matt Amodio, Jonathan Fisher (11 wins, including dethroning Amodio), Tyler Rhode (5 wins), Andrew He (5 wins, beaten by Amy), Sam Buttrey (the inaugural Professors Tournament winner), and others. And she’s signed with  CAA.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “The Amy Schneider JEOPARDY run”

  1. I cannot believe that I sussed out that final FJ immediately! Sort of proud, especially because I have never seen myself as a person who tried out for Jeopardy.

    On a fun note, I was on Wheel of Fortune back in the late 80s. I won nothing. Nothing. Not a cent. But it helped me realize that I needed to leave my marriage, so it’s not a total loss.

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