‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Talk Their Intense Battle to the Very End

by Leanne Stahulak
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Last night’s “Jeopardy!” game was a closer matchup than usual for 10-day champion Amy Schneider, who faced off against some fierce competition.

Going into the “Final Jeopardy!” round last night, Schneider led with $25,000. Right behind her, Pam Schoenberg went in with $16,600, and Krys Fischer trailed behind with $5,400. Depending on how Schneider and Schoenberg bet, the second-place contestant could easily overtake the reigning champion.

At the end of the round, though, Schneider answered correctly and Schoenberg didn’t. The second-place competitor bet only $300, while Schneider bet $13,000. If the reigning “Jeopardy!” champion had incorrectly answered the final question, then she would’ve dropped to $12,000, putting Schoenberg in the lead.

After the match, the three contestants talked with guest host Ken Jennings about the intense trivia battle.

“I think it was the kind of thing where if everybody had been wrong or you both had been wrong, I think second place takes that, right?” Jennings said in a “Jeoaprdy!” YouTube clip called “Overheard on Set.”

Schneider and Schoenberg agreed. “Because I was looking to see, can I bet enough to cover you and still stay over you?” the reigning “Jeopardy!” champ said. “But it would’ve been a tie, and you were great on the buzzer. I didn’t want it to be a tie.”

During a tie game, the last two answer a sudden death question, and whoever buzzes in first with the correct answer moves on to the next game.

Jennings agreed with Schneider, telling Schoenberg, “Yeah you came in with really good button instincts.”

“Yeah, it sort of trailed off at the end there,” Schoenberg replied. Jennings said that Schneider likely adjusted her buzzer technique to better battle Schoenberg

“But yeah, what a great game,” Jennings concluded. See the interaction for yourself below.

Current ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider Opens Up About Being 10-Day Winner

After her win last night, 10-day “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider opened up in an exclusive interview about what that means to her. And what it means to have the eighth-highest regular-season earnings at $380,200.

“I’m not sure, it’s just so surprising,” Schneider said in the exclusive interview. “I mean, I’m not gonna pretend I didn’t think I could do good. But this has just been so much better than I thought I would do. It’s really hard to say what it means yet, I don’t know.”

The “Final Jeopardy!” round always seems to play in Schneider’s favor. But during this past round, Schoenberg could’ve easily caught up if one of them had bet to high or answered incorrectly. Schnieder prefers “runaway” games where there’s no chance to catch up.

“It’s relaxing. I guess you can kind of let the tension go from the climbing there,” Schneider explained. “And the one non-runaway [game]… I was surprised at how stressed I was during that time. Like, it really got tension into my body. So I want to keep doing runaways.”