At the age of eight, Amy Schneider’s fellow eighth-graders in Dayton, Ohio, chose her as the kid most likely to appear on “Jeopardy!”
She broke Julia Collins’ previous record of 20 wins set in 2014 and became the first woman in the show’s history to win 21 consecutive games on Wednesday. Ms. Schneider, a 42-year-old engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., was previously the first woman to win 21 consecutive games in the show’s history.
In a tweet, Ms. Schneider added, “I never imagined myself matching Julia’s streak.” The words “proud, dizzy, pleased, numb” and “all those things” don’t adequately express how I felt.
According to a recent interview, Ms. Schneider said that while she wasn’t focused on the questions, she was wondering about if she might surpass Ms. Collins’s previous best.
Although she claimed she didn’t have her eyes on the various leaderboards at the time, she admits she did. “I could pretend I wasn’t paying attention to the other leaderboards at that moment, but I was clearly aware,” she says. The stakes were clear to me.
It was not until November 17 that Ms. Schneider made her television debut, despite the fact that the programmes were taped in September and October. At the end of every episode, she took to Twitter to publish colourful play-by-play summaries of her victories or to share updates about her cat, Meep.
Her 20th victory came this week, and she shared how she came within inches of tying Ms. Collins’ record when one of her other competitors, Josette Curtis, started to close the gap between her and the record-holder.
Mrs. Schneider noted that “Josette, a trained nutritionist, had gone on somewhat of a run in the Vitamin category, and all of a sudden my chance at winning the runaway was in question.” “In addition, if Josette finds the last Daily Double, she has a chance to overtake the lead!”
Larissa Kelly, who competed on the programme in 2008 and 2009 when she was a graduate student and briefly held the record for the highest-earning female competitor, was among many who congratulated Ms. Schneider on her achievement.
She grew up watching “Jeopardy!” with her parents and dreamt of one day competing on the show, she said. She ate up information by reading it voraciously. She competed in geography bee contests while in elementary school, and in 1992, she placed in the top ten in the state of Ohio.
‘Jeopardy!’ winner Kate Freeman, who wore a similar pin in December 2020 when she became what many believe to be the first openly transgender woman to win the game show, had a major influence on the choice, according to Ms. Schneider.
This has brought good attention to the long-running quiz show, which had been plagued by controversy about who would permanently replace Alex Trebek, who has hosted the programme for more than 36 years.
This summer, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produces the programme, announced that Mike Richards, who is also an executive producer on the show, will serve as the show’s permanent presenter. After becoming emotionally engaged in a succession of celebrity guest presenters who looked to be auditioning for the role of Mr. Trebek’s replacement, “Jeopardy!” viewers were upset by the show’s choice.
A storey by The Ringer showed that Mr. Richards had made derogatory statements about women on a podcast in 2014. The programme then had to deal with the backlash from the revelation. Just a few days after the report was released, Mr. Richards resigned from his roles as presenter and executive producer.
No information about Ms. Schneider’s progress on the programme is permitted. It was slated to run on Thursday, and she would be competing against Nate Levy, a screenplay coordinator from Los Angeles, and Sarah Wrase, an accountant from Monroe, Michigan, in the next instalment.