Dayton native makes ‘Jeopardy!’ history

Dayton native Amy Schneider is the highest-earning and longest-winning woman in “Jeopardy!” history.

She will play on into 2022 after she extended her winning streak on New Year’s Eve to 23 games.

Schneider, 42, is in fourth place for the most consecutive wins in the show’s nearly 57-year history. Only host Ken Jennings with 74 games, Matt Amodio with 38 games and James Holzhauer with 32 games are ahead of her.

She stood alone as the winningest woman on Wednesday with her 21st consecutive win. The day before, Schneider tied Julia Collins, who in 2014 was the first woman to record a 20-game streak.

“Julia Collins won 20 games and so this is my 20th game and so I just wanted to wear a sweater in tribute,” she said at the start of the show of Collins, who wore a similar look for her 20th and final win.

Schneider, a Chaminade-Julienne graduate, also made history as the top woman earner in the game’s history.

Her 23-day winnings are $855,600, which puts her in fifth place for all-time winnings, including tournaments.

She has held that position since her 18th consecutive win on Christmas Eve. That game bumped her earnings total to $706,800, which surpassed Larissa Kelly whose winnings stand at $655,930 after regular play in 2019.

“Well, it was fun to hold a Jeopardy record for a few years … but it’s been even more fun to watch @Jeopardamy set new standards for excellence, on the show and off,” Kelly posted on Twitter. “Congratulations to Amy on becoming the woman with the highest overall earnings in the show’s history!”

Following each day’s show that airs she gives a recap on Twitter of her performance on the latest episode, shares more about her experience taping five shows a day, her favorite books, answers fan questions and has even posted about her cat Meep.

She said as an eighth-grader, her classmates voted her most likely to appear on “Jeopardy!” She made good on their prediction, and on Monday correctly responded to a Dayton-centric clue: “GBV can only be this indie band led by former Ohio schoolteacher Robert Pollard.” Schneider correctly answered Guided By Voices, Dayton’s own indie band that formed in 1983 and has produced 33 albums.

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There also was a missed opportunity involving Dayton’s iconic sons that left Schneider begging for forgiveness.

“I didn’t get in on the Wright Brothers clue! I’m so sorry Dayton, please don’t ban me from the city!” she tweeted about the Dec. 22 episode.

Schneider selected the “Aviation” category, but it was a fellow contestant who buzzed in first and replied to the following clue: “At over 220 feet, the wingspan on a 747 is longer than this pair’s first flight in 1903,” correctly naming Wilbur and Orville Wright.

The software engineering manager living in Oakland, California, also is the first out transgender contestant in the show’s history to qualify for the Tournament of Champions — when top contestants of each season compete. Her winning streak began during Trans Awareness Week, and she earned the spot in November by winning her fifth game in a row.

“I don’t want to make too much about being trans, at least in the context of the show,” Schneider tweeted. “I am a trans woman, and I’m proud of that fact, but I’m a lot of other things, too!”

She can be seen on “Jeopardy!” weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on WDTN Channel 2.

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