Oakland woman becomes 1st transgender contestant to qualify for 'Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions'

She isn't the first transgender contestant to appear on the show, but she is the first one to make the 'Tournament of Champions.'

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Amy Schneider has been a "Jeopardy!" fan her whole life. Now, she's become the first trans contestant to qualify for the 'Tournament of Champions.'

OAKLAND , Calif. (KGO) -- Amy Schneider has been a "Jeopardy!" fan for as long as she can remember.

"My parents always had it on growing up," she said. "There was never an extended period of time where I didn't watch it."

Being a contestant on the show has been a dream of hers. She has tried three times, and this year she was finally successful.

"I did the interview three times, and the third one finally worked," she said.

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Now, she has made history. After winning her fifth game in a row, she became the first transgender contestant to qualify for the show's "Tournament of Champions," an annual competition that takes the best contestants from the year prior.

"Once I got to episodes three and four, I knew the fifth one was in sight," she said. "Once I got it, it was a great feeling, mostly because I was having fun and I didn't want to stop. By qualifying for the fifth one, I knew I would come back."

Her win streak is now up to nine shows. However, what is important to her is the message she is sending.

"I am from Ohio where the only trans people I thought of were drag queens or prostitutes," she said. "Seeing other trans women in a good spotlight inspired me to not be afraid of trying to compete in the thing I have always loved."

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She isn't the first transgender contestant to appear on the show, but she is the first to go as far as she is going. Her goal is try and win the whole competition.

"I am so incredibly grateful," she said. "Hopefully I can send a positive message to the nerdy trans girl who wants to be on the show too."