Amy Schneider is the latest “Jeopardy!” phenom, recently winning her 17th consecutive game.
This has placed Schneider in rarified company; with earnings to date of $687,400, she holds the fourth-highest winnings in the show’s history, behind only Matt Amodio ($1,518,601), James Holzhauer ($2,462,216) and Ken Jennings ($2,520,700).
Schneider is also the first transgender contestant to make it into the show’s Tournament of Champions, and in a recent interview with Yahoo! Entertainment she opened up about recently being recognized while grocery shopping.
“It’s a fun feeling,” she said of her newfound fame. “I mean, I did have the moment, after that, thinking, ‘If this ever stops becoming nice, I don’t have a way to stop it.’ But I’m not too concerned… I’m not going to be, like, Tom Hanks–level famous or anything! So, I think it’ll be manageable.”
Like many “Jeopardy!” contestants, Schneider is a longtime fan of the show.
“I’ve always watched it and I’ve also always been interested in learning facts and stuff,” she said, recalling watching “Jeopardy!” as far back as kindergarten. “And as I mentioned on the show, in eighth grade I was voted ‘Most Likely to Be on “Jeopardy!” One Day.’ It was always sort of in my mind that it might be something I did at some point.”
While Schneider is certainly aware of the visibility she’s bringing to television, she explained that being trans is just one aspect of her identity.
“I don’t actually think about it that much,” she said. “I was definitely aware, going on the show, that being a trans person in the spotlight could be an interesting thing. But, you know, it’s just what I am, and there’s sort of, like, nothing to do about it. It’s just who I am.”