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‘Jeopardy!’ champion’s run ends

LOS ANGELES — “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider’s dazzling streak is over, snapped Wednesday by a Chicago librarian after 40 consecutive wins and nearly $1.4 million in prize money.

Schneider’s success put her in the ranks of Ken Jennings, who is serving as guest host, and the quiz show’s other all-time greats. It also made Schneider, a trans woman, a visible symbol of achievement for often-marginalized people.

“It’s still a little hard to believe,” she said of her impressive run. “It’s something that I’m going to be remembered for, and that’s pretty great,”

New champ Rhone Talsma had the correct response to the final “Jeopardy!” clue for a winning total of $29,600. Schneider, who found herself in the unusual position of entering the last round short of a runaway, was second with $19,600.

“I’m still in shock,” Talsma said in a statement. “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 told the Associated Press that Talsma played well and did a “great job of taking the opportunities when they came up and putting himself position to be able to win.”

The answer that stumped Schneider was about countries of the world: The only nation whose name in English ends in an “h” and which is also one of the 10 most populous. (Cue the “Jeopardy!” music — and the response is, “What is Bangladesh?”)

Among her immediate reactions when the game and her streak ended: She was sad but also relieved that “I don’t have to come up with anymore anecdotes,” the stories that contestants share during game breaks.

Contestants receive their winnings after their final game airs, and Schneider’s spending plans include clothes shopping and, especially, travel.

An engineering manager and Dayton, Ohio, native who lives in Oakland, Calif., Schneider’s regular-season play made her No. 2 in consecutive games won, placing her between Jennings with 74 games and Matt Amodio, winner of 38 games in 2021.

Schneider’s prize total of $1,382,800 puts her in fourth place on the regular-season winnings list, behind Jennings ($2,520,700), James Holzhauer ($2,462,216) and Amodio ($1,518,601).

Schneider, will be part of the show’s “Tournament of Champions,” and is the first trans person to qualify.

She was braced for her streak to end, she told AP.

“I had a feeling my time was winding down, even though it didn’t look that way in the scores,” Schneider said. The routine of traveling to Los Angeles for tapings — five shows a day, two days a week — was tiring.