HomeEntertainment‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Shares Hilarious Story About Her Students with Anderson Cooper

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Shares Hilarious Story About Her Students with Anderson Cooper

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images

A teacher competing on Jeopardy! made a deal with her students. But how much will it cost her?

On Wednesday, the Jeopardy! social media team shared a cute video clip with fans of the quiz show, Wednesday. The clip shows guest host Anderson Cooper in the middle of a Jeopardy! tradition. He was asking contestants to introduce themselves to the audience.

Now, all these questions are pre-screened by show producers. But this answer definitely wasn’t a mundane kind of factoid. Cooper introduced Jeopardy! returning champion Dana Schumacher-Schmidt from Tecumseh, Mich. She’s an English professor.

Schumacher-Schmidt told Cooper about a deal she struck with her students.

“I had to end class about 15 minutes early on the day when I had my zoom audition,” she said. “I had just enough time to be all logged in and everything. And so I made a deal with my students. If they let me do that I would share with them a cut of my winnings. So there are 11 college students in Michigan watching very closely.”

Her zoom audition story definitely intrigued Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor. Were there contracts signed with her students, he asked.

“Nothing official,” Schumacher-Schmidt said. “But I’m a woman of my word.”

Cooper asked if she’d figured out the percentage, or cut, she’d give to her students from her Jeopardy! winnings?

“Not yet, we’ll see how it goes,” she said.

Teacher Won More than $20,000 Her First Day of Jeopardy!

We’re betting her 11 students in her class at Siena Heights University are seeing dollar signs. She’s won more than enough to buy a couple of rounds of beer, even after taxes.

Schumacher-Schmidt won $20,600 on her first session of Jeopardy! She did so by knocking off Kelly Donohue, a bank examiner who won for three straight days. Schumacher-Schmidt was so dominant throughout the game that she needed only to bet $500 to win Final Jeopardy.

The winning answer/question?

“This subtropical region is a biosphere reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and, as of 1947, a national park.” 

The question: What is the Everglades? According to Lenconnect.com, Schumacher-Schmidt answered 23 questions correctly. She is such a good professor that Siena Heights University honored her with outstanding teacher of the year in 2019-20.

Given her generosity with her students, maybe another teacher of the year award is in her future.

Anderson Cooper has two days remaining as Jeopardy! guest host. Journalist Bill Whitaker will be at the podium take May 3-14. And former Jeopardy! champion contestant Buzzy Cohen takes over from May 17-28.