Lifelong “Jeopardy!” fan Amy Schneider has made history as the show’s first transgender contestant to qualify for the honourable Tournament of Champions.

Although other transgender contestants have previously been on the show, Schneider is the first to make it to the annual competition, which features the best contestants from the past year.

Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc. — Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

“Once I got to episodes 3 and 4, I knew the fifth one was in sight,” Schneider told ABC7 in an interview on Tuesday regarding her fifth consecutive game win, which qualified her for the tournament, which will take place in the spring.

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Schneider went on to win more shows and is the reigning 10-time “Jeopardy!” champion. Her winning streak began earlier this month after taking the reins from five-day champ Andrew He, and she’s now banked $342,200.


But the Oakland resident confessed that the competition isn’t about winning for her, it’s about being a role model for other transgender viewers, “Jeopardy!” hopefuls, and fans.

“My parents always had it on growing up,” Schneider recalled. “There was never an extended period of time where I didn’t watch it.”

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After many attempts to make it on the show and three interviews, “the third one finally worked” for Schneider. Now that she’s on the show, she’s trying to maximize the attention to make an impact.

Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
Photo: Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

“I am from Ohio where the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes,” she said. “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.” Schneider hopes she “can send a positive message to the nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show, too.”

Last week, the trivia champ wore a trans flag pin on the Thanksgiving episode. She tweeted:

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Schneider also explained how she wanted to send a “message of support”:

As for the Tournament of Champions, Schneider said that “ultimately, [she’s] not going to be feeling too much pressure” because she knows that she’s “already had this success”.