Who is Rhone Talsma? New Jeopardy! champion from Chicago snaps Amy Schneider's winning streak

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Chicago Jeopardy! champ dethrones Amy Schneider
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Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma became the new Jeopardy champion, snapping Amy Schneider's record winning streak, second only to Ken Jennings.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Rhone Talsma, a librarian from Chicago, is the new Jeopardy champion after snapping Amy Schneider's record winning streak on Wednesday's show.

Talsma, a graduate of the University of Illinois and DePaul University, works as a multimedia librarian at the Chicago Ridge Library.

Note: The video in this story is from a previous report.

He managed to accomplish what dozens of other contestants could not: defeat Amy Schneider.

SEE ALSO: Amy Schneider unseats Matt Amodio for 2nd most consecutive games won on 'Jeopardy!'

Going into the game, Schneider had won 40 consecutive games, the second-most all time to Ken Jennings, who is filling in as host. During her record run, Schneider became the winningest woman on the show and is one of four contestants to win more than $1 million during regular-season play.

The engineering manager from Oakland, Calif., had a sizeable lead until Final Jeopardy when she dropped to second place after failing to produce an answer against her $8,000 bet. The episode began to air early Wednesday afternoon in certain markets in the Eastern and Central time zones.

Her list of accomplishments during her time on "Jeopardy!" is long: She is the winningest woman in the show's history and one of only four people to surpass $1 million in regular-season winnings.

Earlier this week, she unseated Matt Amodio to claim the second-place spot for most consecutive games won in the show's history.

"The best part for me has been being on TV as my true self, expressing myself, representing the entire community of trans people and...just being a smart, confident woman doing something super normal like being on 'Jeopardy!'" Schneider told George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on "Good Morning America" Monday morning.

While her regular-season play has come to an end, Schneider has earned a spot in the show's tournament of champions - the first openly trans person to do so. She'll be competing in the tournament alongside Amodio, who won $1,518,601 during his 38-game streak last year.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it. I'm also a little bit intimidated by it. When I first started, I wasn't sure if I might be going up against Matt Amodio and I was really hoping I wouldn't. And now it turns out I'm going to have to anyway," she said Monday on "GMA."

Schneider added: "It's going to be really challenging; a lot of strong players there, but it should be a lot of fun."

Throughout her run on the show, Schneider has fulfilled a prediction made by her 8th-grade classmates in Dayton, Ohio: She was voted most likely to be a "Jeopardy!" contestant based on her geography and spelling bee prowess.

Click here to see when "Jeopardy!" airs in your city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.