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Amy Schneider's 'Jeopardy!' run has come to an end after 40 games

Amy Schneider's <em>Jeopardy!</em> win streak came to a close Wednesday night.
Casey Durkin
Sony Pictures Television
Amy Schneider's Jeopardy! win streak came to a close Wednesday night.

After a storied run, Amy Schneider's 40-game win streak on Jeopardy! has come to an end.

Schneider, who holds the second-longest consecutive win streak in show history, took over the No. 2 spot previously held by Matt Amodio earlier this week. She had hoped to continue her historic run with another victory on Wednesday, but stumbled in Final Jeopardy!

Heading into the show's final round, Schneider was leading Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma. Her score was $27,600, while Talsma had $17,600.

It all came down to the final clue. The 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."

Schneider didn't come up with an answer. But Talsma responded correctly: "What is Bangladesh?" That allowed him to finish in first place with a score of $29,600 to Schneider's $19,600.

Schneider says she felt herself slipping

"I had thought that Rhone was going to be tough going into it," Schneider said. "... I could tell that he was here to play and that he was going to be good. I still came very close to winning, but I did feel like maybe I was slipping a little bit."

Schneider said she knew "it was going to be a battle all the way" once she noticed how fast Talsma was on the buzzer.

Talsma said he was "in shock."

"I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant," he said. "I just really didn't think it was going to be me, so I'm thrilled."

It's the end of a history-making run

Schneider ends her run as the highest-earning and longest-winning female contestant in Jeopardy! history, and just the fifth millionaire in show history. The engineering manager from Oakland, Calif. won a total of $1,382,800, which lands her in fourth place on the all-time regular season cash winnings list.

Schneider will return for the Tournament of Champions in the fall. She's the first openly trans contestant to qualify for it.

"It's really been an honor," Schneider said. "To know that I'm one of the most successful people at a game I've loved since I was a kid and to know that I'm a part of its history now, I just don't know how to process it."

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Rina Torchinsky