Amy Schneider advances in ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Amy Schneider’s dominating performance in the first semifinal round of the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions, which aired Wednesday, secured her spot in the finals, slated next week.

Schneider, the record-breaking winner of 40 consecutive games, earned $19,664. She competed against Maureen O’Neil, an executive assistant from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Tyler Rhode, a director at a start-up from New York, New York.

“We began this competition with 21 players who had amassed between them a total of exactly 200 ‘Jeopardy!’ wins, almost a full season of our show,” said host Ken Jennings at the outset. “But today we are down to just nine champions – six who emerged victorious after a very competitive quarterfinal round and three who were seeded directly into these semifinals by virtue of their extraordinary play during their regular season… Just for the record, the advantages of being a one-seed end right here. It’s an equal playing field. Only one will advance to the finals.”

Credit: Sean Black

Credit: Sean Black

During the interview portion, Jennings noted “Jeopardy!” champions typically receive their winnings after their games have aired. Even so, Schneider said her winning check for $1.3 million arrived on the day her final show aired. However, the check didn’t stay dry for long after she showed it to a group of friends at a watch party.

“After the episode we popped some champagne and it spilled all over the check,” she recalled.

“I trust a champagne-stained check still cleared,” Jennings joked.

At the end of Double Jeopardy!, Schneider, who correctly answered the Daily Double in Jeopardy! and Double Jeopardy!, led with $19,600. Rhode was second with $7,000. O’Neil trailed in third with $600.

The Final Jeopardy! clue in the category of Contemporary Authors: “A trip to El Paso with his young son and wondering what the city might look like years in the future inspired a novel by this author.”

Schneider answered correctly with Cormac McCarthy (“The Road”). She wagered a modest $64. Rhode also answered correctly but didn’t wager. O’Neil was stumped.

Schneider is a Chaminade Julienne graduate who ranks second all-time behind Jennings for most consecutive wins. She is also the first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.

Seeded Champions Matt Amodio of New Haven, Connecticut, who won 38 games and winnings totaling $1.5 million, and Mattea Roach of Toronto, Canada, who won 23 games and winnings totaling $560,983, will face their challengers Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The tournament, which assembles the top players of 2022, was taped in September in Los Angeles.

“Jeopardy!” airs weeknights at 7:30 on WDTN Channel 2.

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