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Just two days after claiming the second-longest Jeopardy! winning streak ever, Amy Schneider’s run ended Wednesday.
Schneider’s run ended after 40 games as Rhone Talsma, a librarian from Chicago, won Wednesday’s match with a correct Final Jeopardy response. He ended the game with $29,600 — $10,000 more than Schneider, who didn’t answer the Final Jeopardy clue: “The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in H, it’s also one of the 10 most populous.” (The correct response: “What is Bangladesh?”)
“I had thought that Rhone was going to be tough going into it,” said Schneider in a statement. “I loved hanging out with him, we had a great conversation before the taping, but I could tell that he was here to play and that he was going to be good. I still came very close to winning, but I did feel like maybe I was slipping a little bit. And once it was clear that he was fast on the buzzer, I knew it was going to be a battle all the way.”
Schneider amassed $1,382,800 over her 40-game streak, ranking fourth all time on the Jeopardy! money list behind Ken Jennings ($2,520,700), James Holzhauer ($2,462,216) and Matt Amodio ($1,518,601). She passed Amodio on Monday to claim the second-longest win streak, behind only Jennings’ 74-game run.
“It’s really been an honor,” said Schneider, the first transgender person to be a Jeopardy! champ and now the winningest woman in the show’s history. “To know that I’m one of the most successful people at a game I’ve loved since I was a kid and to know that I’m a part of its history now, I just don’t know how to process it.”
Said Talsma, “I’m still in shock. This is my favorite show.… I was so excited to be here and I just wanted to do my best. I did not expect to be facing a 40-day champion, and I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant. I just really didn’t think it was going to be me, so I’m thrilled.”
Schneider’s winning streak — along with Amodio’s earlier in the season — has been a boon for ratings on Jeopardy!. The Sony-produced syndicated show averaged 11 million daily viewers the week of Jan. 10 and is at 9.4 million for the season, making it the most watched entertainment program (in same-day viewership) in any daypart in 2021-22.
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