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The 2021-22 season of “Jeopardy!” has featured some memorable champions. At the start, Matt Amodio concluded his 38-win run that commenced at the end of last season and amassed $1,519,601. It was the second longest streak for a champion in the game show’s history.
That mark lasted just three months.
On the episode that aired on January 24, 2022, Amy Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., achieved consecutive win No. 39 on the program. Like the vast majority of her contests, the victory was a runaway — by the Final
Jeopardy round, there was no way each of her fellow competitors could catch up to beat her earnings.
Schneider’s 41st appearance on January 26, 2022 had the makings of another blowout victory. Midway through the Double Jeopardy round, Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma had $7,8000 which was $16,200 behind the leading Schneider. Talsma, who managed to buzz in more often than most of Schneider’s previous opponents, had control of the board and selected the $1,200 blue in the category entitled “OMG!” He found the game’s last Daily Double.
Talsma had discovered one in the first Jeopardy round and risked it all, but was incorrect. Nonetheless, that occurred at an early point of the game. At this critical juncture, his only chance to deny Schneider another runaway game was to bet all of his $7,800. And he did.
The clue: “The Greek goddesses of vengeance are called the Eumenides, better known as these, a word from Latin.” Talsma’s response, “What are the Furies?” was correct, lifting him to $15,800 — only $8,200 behind Schneider.
Entering Final Jeopardy, Schneider was in the lead with $27,600. Talsma was runner-up with $17,600. The Final Jeopardy category was “Countries of the World” and the clue was “The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an H, it’s also one of the 10 most populous.”
The only contestant to correctly guess “What is Bangladesh?” was Talsma, thus ending Schneider’s illustrious streak. Hosting throughout her entire run was Ken Jennings, the person she was trying to catch but finished 34 victories short. Including her runner-up finish in her 41st game which added an extra $2,000, Schneider won $1,384,800.
It was nearly three years ago that another librarian from Chicago, Ill. defeated a long-running champion, when Emma Boettcher dethroned the 32-game-winner James Holzhauer.