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“Jeopardy!” contestant Amy Schneider made history with her incredible winnings on the beloved, long-running game show. Not only was she the first transgender contestant to compete on the show’s Tournament of Champions, but the 42-year-old also became the most successful woman in the show’s history when she competed in 40 consecutive games and took home $1,382,800 in winnings.
While her winning streak ended on Jan. 26, Schneider has no plans to return to the same daily life she led before her triumphant run on the show. She took to Twitter to announce her plans.
“Some of you may have heard, but I quit my day job yesterday,” Schneider tweeted. “It’s a bit nerve-wracking to pivot from software engineer to … public figure, I guess? But regardless of the outcome I’m so excited to spend the next couple years at least tackling this new challenge!”
Some of you may have heard, but I quit my day job yesterday! It's a bit nerve-wracking to pivot from software engineer to… public figure, I guess? But regardless of the outcome I'm so excited to spend the next couple years at least tackling this new challenge!
— Amy Schneider (@Jeopardamy) February 8, 2022
Scheider never imagined she was destined for such success on the show.
“When I started, my biggest goal was just to win four games,” Schneider told People. “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.”
Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation, stated that Schneider’s media interviews and social media posts have given fans a glimpse into the life of a “smart, charming transgender woman with a girlfriend and a rescue cat named Meep.”
“Amy Schneider’s incredible run on Jeopardy! allows families all over the country to get to know her as someone who is great at word puzzles, has in-depth knowledge on a range of topics, and who also happens to be a transgender woman. Amy is using her history-making appearances and new platform to raise awareness of transgender issues and share a bit of her personal story too,” Adams said.
In addition to being the most successful woman contestant, Schneider is just the fifth “Jeopardy!” contestant to become a millionaire through her winnings. In an interview for the show posted to YouTube, she said she’s hoping to develop a taste for designer clothing with her newfound wealth.
As for the next phase of her life, Schneider is tossing ideas around. Along with working on a book, she has thought about getting into voice acting. Although she has to wait at least six months before appearing on another game show, she might try that in the future. And she hasn’t ruled out stepping in as a “Jeopardy!” host.
“If somebody was to call and ask me to try out for it or whatever, I wouldn’t say no,” she said in an interview with GLAAD. “That would definitely be something I’d be willing to explore.”