Amy Schneider’s historic ‘Jeopardy!’ winning streak ends at 40

Amy Schneider’s winning streak on “Jeopardy!” is over.

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In an episode that aired on Wednesday, Schneider, 42, lost to Chicago resident and multimedia librarian Rhone Talsma, the Chicago Tribune reported. With 40 victories, Schneider held the second-longest winning streak in the game show’s history, trailing only Ken Jennings’ 74-game run in 2004, NBC News reported.

This week’s episodes were taped in November 2021, so Schneider has kept her historic run (and its end) quiet for months, USA Today reported.

Schneider, an Ohio native who is an engineering manager from Oakland, California, has earned a spot in the show’s Hall of Fame and will play in the next Tournament of Champions alongside Matt Amodio, whose 38-day streak Schneider just topped during Monday’s episode, the newspaper reported. Schneider also made history as the first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, according to NBC News.

“The fatigue of this taping was really starting to add up,” Schneider said in an interview on Wednesday. “I couldn’t explain it, even to myself, but I just could feel that something was slipping a little bit, however much I tried to fight it.”

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Schneider had been winning by comfortable margins, but she only led Talsma $27,600-$17,600 heading into Final Jeopardy.

In the category “Countries of the World,” the final question was to name the only nation that ends its English spelling with an “h” and is also among the world’s top 10 most populous countries.

Talsma correctly asked, “What is Bangladesh?” while Schneider had no answer, NBC News reported. Talsma’s winning wager of $12,000 and Schneider’s losing bet of $8,000 meant there was a new champion.

“I remember watching Ken Jennings’ winning streak when I was 11 years old and being amazed at how much he knew,” Talsma told the Tribune. “I’ve always just really enjoyed trivia, especially in subjects like geography and history. I’m also very competitive and usually perform well under pressure, so I figured with enough prep I wouldn’t be half bad if I got on the show.

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“I am, first and foremost, incredibly proud of myself,” Talsma told the newspaper. “Getting on the show was in itself a huge accomplishment, and I had no expectation of winning, especially once I found out I was going against a record-setting champion.”

Schneider, who won $1,382,800 during her victory run, said she had no regrets.

“This has been a show that has been part of my life as long as I can remember, that I’ve loved my whole life,” Schneider said in a statement. “To know that I’m always going to be associated with it, always going to be part of ‘Jeopardy!’ history is just a really cool feeling.”

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