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Oakland Celebrates Trans Jeopardy! Champ With Amy Schneider Day

Oakland Celebrates Trans Jeopardy! Champ With Amy Schneider Day

Libby Schaaf and Amy Schneider
From left: Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Amy Schneider

Schneider will soon be seen on the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

The city of Oakland, Calif., celebrated Amy Schneider Day Wednesday, honoring the top woman and top transgender contestant ever on Jeopardy!

"Today is Amy Schneider Day in Oakland!" Mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted. "@Jeopardamy has made our city proud as the first transgender @Jeopardy contestant as well as the winningest woman and second-longest winning streak ever! & Amy doesn't just say she's from Oakland, she shouts it!" Schneider retweeted it Thursday with comments.

Actually, Schneider was not the first trans contestant on the venerable quiz show, but she is the first to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.

She put together a 40-game winning streak from November through January, placing her second only to current Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in 2003. She is in fourth place for all-time regular season cash winnings with $1.382 million, behind Matt Amodio ($1.518 million), James Holzhauer ($2.462 million), and Jennings ($2.52 million). She was the first woman to pass the million-dollar mark on the show.

The Tournament of Champions will start airing October 31, featuring the top players from the past season of the show. In a change in format, Jeopardy! producers announced that Schneider, Amodio, and lesbian contestant Mattea Roach, who had the season's three longest winning streaks, will not compete in the quarterfinals of the tournament but advance straight to the semifinals. Executive Producer Michael Davies said on a recent podcast that the three were "so far ahead of the curve" that it would be unfair for other contestants to have to face them in the quarterfinals.

Davies has also said the November 8 episode, which falls during the tournament, will be something special. It will include a tribute to longtime host Alex Trebek on the second anniversary of his death. But Jeopardy! fans are speculating online that it may include the airing of a practice game between Schneider, Roach, and Amodio as well.

There will be six quarterfinal games in the tournament, and the winners will advance to the semifinals along with Schneider, Roach, and Amodeo. There then will be three games with the semifinalists, and the three winners will compete in the finals. The final round has traditionally been a two-game affair, but this year the three finalists will compete until one of them wins three games.

The other contestants in the tournament, announced by Davies on the podcast, are Ryan Long, who won 16 games; Jonathan Fisher, who won 11; Brian Chang and Courtney Shah, who each won seven; Eric Ahasic, Zach Newkirk, and Megan Wachspress, who each won six; Andrew He and Tyler Rhode, each with five wins; Jackie Kelly, John Focht, Margaret Shelton, Maureen O'Neil, and Christine Whelchel, each with four; and the two winners of the Second Chance Tournament, to be announced.

In a January interview with The Advocate, Schneider said bringing positive trans visibility was the highlight of the show for her. "It's definitely been the most rewarding part of the whole experience," she said.

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