‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider’s Parents Had One Rule for Her Reading Growing Up

by Michael Freeman

I’m sure all of us had rules concerning reading while we were growing up. While ours were likely to get us to read more, Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider revealed a rule her parents had that might surprise you.

After a break during last night’s show, Ken Jennings spoke to Amy about being from Oakland and her love of reading. After mentioning the fact her parents had a rule for Amy’s reading, one might think they had to entice her somehow to read more. As it turns out, the opposite was true. Amy disclosed her parents had a rule she could rent as many books from the library as she can carry.

The official Jeopardy! Twitter account tweeted the brief clip, if you’re interested. “The rule was that I was only allowed to check out as many books from the library as I could carry by myself,” Amy told the audience.

Laughing, Jennings replied it was both a reading and a physical fitness challenge. Funnily enough, the wording with the rule is very specific. The fact her parents said “as many as she could carry by herself” might suggest she enlisted help from friends at one point to bring home a mountain of books.

Like Jennings stated, it’s a good rule to have. My parents made me read or type at least 15 minutes a day before I could play video games.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Based on her win streak so far, I’ll bet Amy was ripped when she was younger from all the reading.

Amy Schneider Discusses the ‘Central Gimmick’ of ‘Jeopardy!’

Jeopardy! has changed very little from what I remember watching as a child. To this day, much of its format is seemingly set in stone. In a recent interview, champion Amy Schneider discussed one aspect of the show’s format, calling it the “central gimmick.

As a kid, no matter how often I watched, I frequently got answers wrong. This wasn’t because I was incorrect, but because I didn’t phrase my answer in the form of a question. That is the “central gimmick” Schneider recently talked about with Defector. It may shock you, but Amy previously called this part of the show’s format “embarrassingly outdated.” However, she’s since then reconsidered her stance.

“But I’ve come to see that this gimmick, perhaps inadvertently, teaches an underrated skill, which is simply understanding what you’re being asked,” she wrote. “The gimmick of the show forces a weird kind of syntax on the clues, so that, oftentimes, you have to untangle the question before you can even begin to find the answer.”

Moreover, she now thinks that skill in “untangling” the question is great to have for daily life. “That skill, to cut through imprecise and convoluted language in order to recognize the real question at hand, is the only ‘Jeopardy!’ skill that’s actually useful in daily life.”