‘Jeopardy!’: How Much Amy Schneider Faces in Taxes?

by Leanne Stahulak

Few people who compete on “Jeopardy!” do it for the money. But we have to wonder how it feels to take home thousands of dollars for playing an intense trivia match.

Or, in current “Jeopardy!” champ Amy Schneider’s case, how it feels to take home over a million dollars. Currently, she’s won 33 games and earned $1.1 million in winnings. If she continues on the way she has, then she could add even more to her hefty winnings pot.

Except, according to CNBC, it sounds like nearly half of those winnings will be paid to the state and federal governments in taxes. We always hear that game show winners only take a portion of their winnings home because it’s taxable. But now, CNBC has broken down exactly how much Schneider will owe if she went home tomorrow with just her current $1,111,800.

“She’s going to have a pretty hefty tax bill because the income she’s earned on the show is ordinary income,” Megan Gorman, an attorney and managing partner at Chequers Financial Management in San Francisco, told the outlet. “She’ll be paying some of the top rates in the United States on this income.”

How Much Exactly Will ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Amy Schneider Pay?

Part of the reason that the “Jeopardy!” champ has such a high tax rate is that she currently lives and works in California. According to Gorman, Schneider could be looking at a 13.3% tax rate for being in the top tax bracket in California, which has one of the highest tax rates in the country. And federally, she’s looking at a 37% tax rate.

Based on Schneider’s current “Jeopardy!” winnings, that translates to her owing “more than $375,000 to federal taxes and nearly $140,000 to California, according to current tax tables.” If she lost tomorrow, then Schneider will be lucky to go home with $500,000 in winnings. That’s merely half of the million she earned on the game show.

“It’s a pretty arduous win from a tax perspective,” Gorman told CNBC. Though winning one million dollars on a game show is an incredible feat, “it’s pretty amazing how much of it goes to taxes.”

Seeking professional help with Schneider’s taxes this year is a must, Gorman continued. “Jeopardy!” doesn’t automatically withhold portions of the winnings for taxes. So the contestant has to send the right amount to the IRS on their own.

“Hopefully Amy is speaking with her tax professional now in order to move forward with getting the right advice,” Gorman said.

We hope so too. Likely, her taxes will grow even more complicated the more she wins and earns. We’re not sure how far Schneider’s “Jeopardy!” win streak will take her. But hopefully, she hasn’t made any huge one million dollar purchases just yet.