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OAKLAND, California – When “Jeopardy!” Amy Schneider’s 40 Days Ended the winning streak, she said she thanked the crew, chatted briefly with the other contestants, and then apologized.

“I went to the bathroom, cried for about 30 or 40 seconds, pulled myself together and walked out,” Ms. Schneider said from her sunny apartment in Oakland on Friday.

The way she recounts her failure mirrors the way she plays in “Jeopardy!”: Fast, efficient, and realistically warm.

“It was not just a sad feeling, but there was also a sense of relief,” she added. “It’s exhausting.”

Ms. Schneider’s continued success on the show means that when her episodes start filming in late September, she will be competing five games a day, twice a week for several weeks in a row, going from Oakland to Los Angeles.

By the time of filming the final episode on November 9, she had been demoted at work, using all her paid time and taking a few days off unpaid to continue her work as an employee. software engineer.

She left the show with earnings of $1,382,800. But as of this week, her check hasn’t arrived and Ms. Schneider is still working full time.

“It started airing when I knew I had done this historic thing and no one else knew about it,” she said.

Credit…Carolyn Fong for The New York Times

Now, everyone knows. Ms. Schneider has surpassed Matt Amodio’s 38-day recordsecond only to her is Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games in 2004.

She is a master of accuracy and speed, but unlike Mr. Amodio, her style of play is traditional. Ms. Schneider prefers to play a vertical from lowest to highest point than to play in lucrative bottom row, a style popularized by James Holzhauer, who has won $2,464,216 in his 32-game streak in 2019. Ms. Schneider didn’t bounce around the Daily Doubles search in the style of previous contestants like Chuck Forrest and Arthur Chu. And her bets tend to be conservative.

Her strategy paid off. Ms. Schneider left the show as the top female winner in the show’s history. She was a legend in both “Jeopardy!” fans and former contestants.

Terry Wolfisch Cole, one of 82 contestants who competed with Ms. Schneider in her competition, said: “Her depth and breadth of knowledge is remarkable.

‘I’ll give anything a picture right now’

On the day I met Ms. Schneider, she interviewed three times. If she got tired of talking to reporters, she didn’t let it show.

She greeted me wearing an oxblood dress with large white polka dots from Anthropologie that revealed a large tattoo on the left arm of the protagonist of the novel “The Ozma of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. Ozma means a lot to Ms. Schneider. “As an infant, she was kidnapped and enchanted by an evil witch and raised as a boy,” she said.

Mrs. Schneider said: ‘And then that fascination was released and she was revealed to be the beautiful princess she had always loved.

In place of her signature pearls, she wears a necklace engraved with the Star, one of her favorite tarot cards. The necklace was a gift from her girlfriend, Genevieve Davis, 25, from Oakland and working as a nanny. On the night they met, Mrs. Schneider gave Mrs. Davis a tarot reading. Ms. Schneider describes herself as an atheist who does not believe in the occult or supernatural, but as she puts it, “The odd encounter wouldn’t be cute without the tarot.”

Ms. Schneider came to the tarot through her ex-wife, who introduced her to the book “78 Degrees of Wisdom” by Rachel Pollack. Tarot should have been no problem when she was growing up in Dayton, Ohio. Catholicism is very important to her family, and Ms. Schneider struggled with her faith when she was a child.

Credit…Carolyn Fong for The New York Times

She recounts a moment in 2002 when she and her brother and two cousins ​​drove to Toronto to meet Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day. Ms. Schneider agreed to the trip in part to avoid telling her mother that she no longer considers herself Catholic.

They had been waiting in a field the night before to secure their spot, but had forgotten to bring tents or camping gear. As they tried to sleep, it started to rain. After that, liturgical music began to play on the sound system.

This time has become a standard for Ms. Schneider. “Whenever it gets bad, I think, ‘I’m not lying in the field in the rain,'” she said.

Since transitioning in 2017, Ms. Schneider says she’s had a reason to say yes to new experiences. “Because there are so many things that I have denied myself for so long, I will try anything now.”

That includes taking part in the stand-up comedy, getting her nose pierced and entering a new relationship, her first since she separated from her wife in 2016.

Now 42 years old, Ms. Schneider is infatuated with her new girlfriend. The two women openly talk about each other, sharing inside jokes, and brooding about their black long-haired cat, Meep, whose toys are scattered across their living room floor. (In case you need more proof that Ms. Schneider is a cat person, she scrubs the dishes with a cat sponge and cuts her vegetables on a cat-shaped cutting board.)

“I’ve had two serious relationships in my life and this is the second one,” Ms. Schneider said. “When I met the woman who became my wife, I had never even kissed anyone and I was only 25 years old.”

What is publicity?

There is a sample “Jeopardy!” Bad luck! alums – especially women – are targeted online after they appear. Former contestants have recounted incidents that included insults, creepy text messages and outspoken threats.

To prepare for this, Ms. Schneider followed the show producer’s instructions for all new contestants, including locking down her social media accounts. She also made the Instagram and Twitter accounts @Jeopardam public. However, these precautions do not prevent online harassment.

So far, she has barely noticed vitriol’s criticisms directed at her, or responded with sarcasm, as she did in “Thank you” tweet she posted on New Year’s Eve.

A few weeks ago, Ms. Schneider was robbed with a gun in the lobby of her apartment building. She wasn’t physically harmed and stressed that she doesn’t think the incident has anything to do with her appearance on “Jeopardy!” However, it’s not her favorite thing to talk about.

“I tweeted about it, and so it went public, and it was about me,” she said. “But letting everyone in my life know about this happening to me by seeing a news article is a bit of a disturbing thing to happen.”

As she prepares to compete, Ms. Schneider has to decide what she wants to look like. She brought her favorite pink coat and made a few trips to Target and Nordstrom Rack. She said she was “packing too many jewels,” but after winning a few games with pearls, she thinks the audience might enjoy it if she went ahead with a signature accessory. .

Credit…Carolyn Fong for The New York Times

She also considers how she wants to sound.

“I really wanted a more feminine voice, and I was planning to use that voice on TV,” she said. But she eventually decided that consciously changing her voice could affect her playstyle and opted to speak in her usual register. She is proud of that decision.

“Transgender women watching can see me in my voice and see I’m fine with it,” she says.

Her voice was once a source of irritation for Ms. Schneider, but now she is considering turning it into a career. She recently signed with talent agency CAA and says that she enjoys dubbing.

She is also considering a return to podcasting. She and her ex-wife co-hosted the “Downton Abbey” podcast and she hosted a show about “Moby-Dick” and a tarot podcast called “These are just cards. ”

“Risk!” barring contestants from appearing on other game shows for six months after they’re on the show, but after that, Ms. Schneider is also willing to make more appearances on game shows, which might fit the reaction time her previous.

She practiced for “Jeopardy!” used a stylus and said she didn’t know she was gifted for making buzz until she was on the show. This fact is sure to disappoint many contestants, some of whom are trained with special whistles, designed to mimic the whistles used in “Jeopardy!” studio, to remove milliseconds from their noise.

On Friday, Ms. Schneider went to the Heart and Dagger Saloon in Oakland to watch herself play. She sat on a bar stool to order a sauvignon blanc and a pack of Parliament Lamps.

Another customer asked the bartender if the TV was tuned for the game Warriors. “No, we’re watching“ Jeopardy! ,” replied the bartender, nodding at Miss Schneider. The man brightened when he recognized the champion sitting next to him. “Unbelievable! Congratulations!” he said, congratulating her. Moments later, a bearded man sitting beside him bent down and asked, “Have you been robbed?”

Miss Schneider smiled and nodded. “Yes, I was robbed.”

During the 30-minute performance, two patrons sent free drinks, which Ms. Schneider happily accepted.

After watching herself win $25,000 in the Jeopardy final, Ms. Schneider went to the bar’s yard with Ms. Davis and their friend Hilary Hays.

Ms. Hays manages the Instagram account @Jeopardomy. “I said, ‘Put you on Instagram and get you some free stuff! ‘ said Miss Hays, using it unequivocally.

The Instagram account has a collection of portraits courtesy of the very similar show. Ms. Schneider is almost always framed exactly the same, smiling at the show’s blue suit, head tilted, pearl necklace around her neck. Her outfit is pretty conservative and the caption is direct: “Day 32: I’ve worn this blouse a few times already and who doesn’t love it? @Target? ”

“I wouldn’t care if anyone else did it, but people seem to like it,” Ms. Schneider said of the account, which has more than 25,000 followers. Ms Hays said celebrities, including Kelly Osbourne, Molly Shannon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amy Schumer, have sent her direct messages.

If the goal is to get free stuff, it seems to be working. The next day, Ms. Schneider went to Nordstrom in San Francisco to shop for clothes with a stylist courtesy of the store. She was looking for something to wear to the GLAAD Media Awards in April, where she will be honored.

After handling a shipment that included a navy blue evening gown by Alex and a floral print dress in blue and brown by Maggy London, Marc Fisher wore high heels and some jewelry, the tag Ms. Schneider’s has exceeded the $2,000 that she was given.

But when the cashier ran her credit card, her bank flagged the transaction as potentially fraudulent. The irony was that Ms. Schneider had a credit card problem after winning over a million dollars, but she had little time to work through it.

She was late for a free hair dye appointment across town.

Adjusted:

An earlier version of this article misrepresented Ms. Schneider’s age. She’s 42, not 43.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/01/27/arts/pop-culture-entertainment-news The latest in entertainment and pop culture news: Live updates

Fry Electronics Team

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