Amy Schneider falls short in first finals game of ‘Jeopardy!’ Tournament of Champions

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Amy Schneider came in third place during the first game of the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions finals – a best of seven series –that aired Monday.

Schneider, the record-breaking winner of 40 consecutive games, faced off against Andrew He, a software developer from San Francisco, and Sam Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research at the Naval Postgraduate School from Pacific Grove, California.

“From a field of 21, we still have with us a Baby Boomer, a Gen-Xer and a millennial,” host Ken Jennings noted at the outset. “Two of our three finalists have played each other before. If not for a missed Final Jeopardy! clue, Andrew He would have gone on to play a seventh game. Instead, his challenger, a player named Amy Schneider, rattled off a streak of 40 in a row. Our third finalist is our Professors Tournament champion Sam Buttrey, who has never lost a game on the Alex Trebek Stage. Anything can happen in the game of ‘Jeopardy!” and frequently does.”

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During the interview segment, Schneider reflected on meeting a tennis legend at the U.S. Open in September.

“I was told that Billie Jean King wanted to see me,” Schneider said. “It was a huge honor. She’s somebody that has used her platform for so much good and if I can do anything like that with my little ‘Jeopardy!’ fame I would be thrilled.”

Jennings also asked her how it felt to be in the finals.

“It’s nice,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure I won one game. From here on out we’re good.”

“Yes, the semifinal,” Jennings interjected. “But there might be more in your future.”

Schneider led at the end of the Jeopardy! round with $5,000 followed by Buttrey with $4,800 and He with $4,200. However, during Double Jeopardy!, He came on strong, ultimately earning $18,800 after wagering a true Daily Double. Schneider finished the round with $14,600 and Buttrey with $12,000.

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The Final Jeopardy! clue in the category of “Geogra-flee”: “In July 2022 the ousted president of this country fled west across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives.”

The answer was Sri Lanka. He answered correctly and wagered $10,401, bringing his total to $29,201. Buttrey also answered correctly but didn’t wager, remaining at $12,000. Schneider incorrectly chose Indonesia, wagering $10,000 and reducing her total to $4,600.

“Andrew He strikes first in his rematch with Amy Schneider,” Jennings noted.

The first player to win three games in this best of seven competition will win the $250,000 grand prize.

Schneider, a resident of Oakland, California, 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.

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

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