Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions has ended and after six games the winner was crowned. Amy Schneider, a writer from Oakland, California, won the tournament beating Andrew He and Sam Buttrey.
“I feel amazing,” Schneider said after her win. “Earlier in the finals, I had this sudden moment of seeing myself and being like ‘I’m on stage in the Tournament of Champions finals,’ and that was crazy. And I won! It’s a great feeling.”
Schneider was the first to win three games against He, a software developer from San Francisco, who won two finals games, and Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School from Pacific Grove, California, who won one game of the series.
The winner of the tournament took home a $250,000 grand prize with He taking $100,000 for placing second and Buttrey walked away with $50,000 in third place.
Schneider emerged victorious despite finding no Daily Doubles in the final game; Buttrey found all three but still trailed both Schneider and He going into Final Jeopardy!: Schneider was in the lead with $15,600; He had $14,200; and Buttrey had $8,000. The Final Jeopardy! clue was as follows:
Clue: THE JANUARY 12, 1864 WASHINGTON EVENING STAR REPORTED ON A PERFORMANCE OF THIS “DASHING COMEDY” TO “A FULL AND DELIGHTED HOUSE”
Correct Response: What is “Our American Cousin”?
Buttrey wagered everything and did not provide the correct response, while both Schneider and He responded correctly. He’s wager was $2,801, finishing with $17,001; Schneider wagered $13,000 for a final score of $28,600 to win the game and the tournament.
“I both wanted to [compete against him] and was afraid of facing him again,” Schneider said of competing again with He who ended her 40-game run on the show in Season 38. “I knew he was one of the top competitors in the field. He was definitely someone that I knew could beat me because he very nearly did before, and he did a couple of times here as well. Any of the three of us really could have won if a very small number of things had gone differently. I’m glad we got a really fair chance to test our skills against each other, and I’d love to play him again someday, somehow.”
Schneider is the first openly transgender contestant to compete in and win the JEOPARDY! Tournament of Champions, and she recognizes the importance of representation.
“I’m going to keep going out there and being me,” she said. “Being in places where people like me haven’t been before, it’s a very powerful thing to do.”