‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Describes Heartbreaking Defeat to Amy Schneider

by Leanne Stahulak

The way that “Jeopardy!” is set up makes it impossible for contestants to know whether or not they’ll be up against a super champion.

So Andrea Asuaje, a writer and reporter from Boston, Massachusetts, had no idea that she’d be going up against Amy Schneider. As of today, Jan. 17, Schneider is a 33-day champion. She just earned the record for third most consecutive wins on “Jeopardy!” and has won over a million dollars. But Asuaje had no idea about any of this when she faced Schneider back in October.

The “Jeoaprdy!” contestant wrote a commentary about her experience on the game show for WBUR. Asuaje laid out her nerves before the game, panic-strudying and meeting the other contestants in Los Angeles. And then she got to the game itself.

“It’s amazing how your mind reacts to an adrenaline rush,” Asuaje wrote. “I can only remember bits and pieces: a few right answers, all of my wrong ones; chatting with Ken Jennings about my rabbit, Falafel; buzzing in extra hard on a clue with the correct response, ‘What is a coxswain?'”

But ultimately, Schneider reigned supreme.

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Details Devatstsing Thoughts After Losing to Amy Schneider

For all we know, Andrea Asuaje could’ve been the next “Jeopardy!” super champion. But it’s difficult to unseat an opponent as in the zone as Schneider. She does have 33 games worth of experience now.

“It was over. I said my goodbyes, got in a Lyft, met my mom in the hotel room, and cried,” Asuaje wrote about her post-game experience. “Was [my mom] ashamed of me because I came in third? ‘How could I ever be ashamed of you?’ she assured me.”

It’s hard not to feel let down after you finally get the chance to fulfill your dreams. Asuaje said playing on “Jeopardy!” had always been on her bucket list. But she’d likely never dreamed of losing to a 33-day champion.

“Six weeks later, my parents, brother, best friend, and I watched as my game of ‘Jeopardy!’ aired right there on television. And to my surprise, I got a lot more questions right than I remembered,” Asuaje continued.

Seeing herself in a new light showed Asuaje that she truly did the best she could. And that she could feel sorry about her loss but still root for an amazing player like Schneider.

“She’s an incredible player, navigating the board like she’s been doing it her whole life. She’s also handled the absolutely vile comments she’s received on social media from bigots and narrow-minded jerks with grace and strength,” Asuaje said at the end of her article.

“I lost to Amy Schneider, but now I want her to keep winning. I want her to keep breaking records. I’m rooting for her with my whole heart,” Asuaje concluded. “And as cheesy as it sounds, being a part of Amy’s winning streak — even as someone she defeated — is an honor.”