‘Jeopardy!’ champ Amy Schneider hits $1 million; talks fame, trans rights

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“Danger!” Champion Amy Schneider is adding to her list of bragging rights and fans.

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Already the highest-grossing female contestant in quiz show history and the longest-serving woman, on Friday she just four “Jeopardy!” became one of Players to reach figures of seven in regular season victories.

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He has collected $1.02 million from 28 wins, placing Ken Jennings fourth on the list with $2.5 million; James Holzhauer, $2.46 million, and Matt Amodio, $1.52 million.

Schneider, who is also fourth in consecutive wins, will compete again on Monday.

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Polite and friendly on TV and in an interview with The Associated Press, she doesn’t seem to be the sad type. But she is tickled by the fact that she has fulfilled a prophecy made by her 8th grade classmates in Dayton, Ohio: she was most likely to be “dangerous”! The contestant, based on his geography and spelling bee skills.

More importantly, she is the first transgender person to qualify for the show’s tournament of champions. In a series of tweets last November, Schneider said she is proud to be a trans woman and wants people to know that aspect of her, “But I am a lot of other things too!”

Schneider’s “Danger!” The achievements have made him both an inspiration and a target for transphobic insults online – which he overcomes with the same affinity he displayed on TV. Her cleverness drew attention from Harvey Feuerstein last week.

“I wouldn’t be proud if she were my own daughter,” the writer and Broadway star tweeted.

Fun Fact: Schneider is proud to have podcasts on “Downton Abbey” and invites those interested in listening to “hundreds of hours of content” about the PBS series.

Schneider, an engineering manager living in Oakland, California, recently spoke with the AP about her newfound fame, maintaining her day job — but dreaming about an entertainment career — and being a voice for the trans community. to become. Comments have been edited for clarity and length.

AP: Are you chuckled at how well you did on “Jeopardy”?

Schneider: Absolutely. It’s almost still a shock to see myself on TV, even though I was there when it all happened. I thought I could win a few games but I didn’t think I would be able to do that well. The other day, my girlfriend mentioned some famous people who went to her high school, and I was thinking, “I know there was someone who went to me.” I looked it up on Wikipedia and there I was listed under Notable Alumni. It was such a strange moment to see.

AP: You mentioned actor Laverne Cox and comedian Natasha Muse as trans women who you find inspiring. Have you heard from audiences who see you as a role model?

Schneider: I’ve definitely heard from other trans people who are thrilled to see me out there. But one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most is listening to parents, and sometimes grandparents, trans people, from an older generation. Have great fear for loved ones who are trans, and worry that they may be limited in life. To be able to go out there and show that I can be successful in a very mainstream way, I think, made a lot of them feel better about the people in their lives.

AP: Given that Cox and Muse are both artists, is there anything that strikes a chord in you? Have you acted, and is comedy something that interests you?

Schneider: I’ve done open mics around town, just for fun and don’t take it seriously, but I’ve been an artist my whole life. As I struggled with the need to come out, there was definitely a fear, ‘Will I still be comfortable in public and will I be able to perform after the transition?’ And seeing them definitely helped with that.

AP: Is a career in entertainment your goal?

Schneider: I’m dreaming of it. I don’t know where I want to take this, and I don’t know what opportunities this (show) will provide. But I am working on my writing as a field in which I can get some opportunities. Other than that, I’m just riding it and seeing what may or may not happen.

AP: Last month, after you shouted on Twitter at your “danger”! A breakthrough from Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, you asked your followers in the state to consider whether a vote for a Republican in this year’s elections would make your life harder. How did you decide to make a statement that puts you at a different level of risk?

Schneider: I definitely thought about it, and I don’t want my social media to become a place where people are arguing about politics all the time. But at the same time, I can’t ignore the fact that there are people threatening my brothers and sisters in the trans community. Here I have a chance to say something about it, and I cannot remain completely silent. I don’t necessarily want to be super-activist about it and constantly bang that drum. But I cannot keep quiet even when I know that there are many people at risk of real injury and harm from political policies.

AP: You had a polite response to someone who held you responsible for the tweet.

Schneider: I grew up in a Republican family and Catholic environment, and many people I love are conservative in various ways. I know them, and I know that they are not intentionally causing harm and that they have because of the position they hold. That’s why I want to involve people from where I can. But it must be in a position where my right to exist is given, otherwise we cannot talk.


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