Amy Schneider's winning streak on "Jeopardy!" came to an end Wednesday after 40 consecutive games. She had reached second place on the show's list of all-time champions with her 39th straight win on Monday.
Chicago librarian Rhone Talsma took Wednesday's match, earning $29,600 to Schneider's $19,600.
"I had thought that Rhone was going to be tough going into it," Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, said in a statement. "I loved hanging out with him," she added, saying they had had a "great conversation before the taping, but I could tell that he was here to play and that he was going to be good. I still came very close to winning, but I did feel like maybe I was slipping a little bit. And once it was clear that he was fast on the buzzer, I knew it was going to be a battle all the way."
Heading into the climactic game segment, "Final Jeopardy!," Schneider was leading Talsma $27,600 to $17,600. Betting big, Talsma wagered $12,000, and when the clue came up — "The only nation in the world whose name in English ends in an h, it's also one of the 10 most populous" — he correctly responded, "What is Bangladesh?"
Schneider, who had wagered $8,000, did not provide a response.
"I'm still in shock," Talsma said in a statement, calling "Jeopardy!" his "favorite show." He added, "I was so excited to be here and I just wanted to do my best. I did not expect to be facing a 40-day champion, and I was excited to maybe see someone else slay the giant. I just really didn't think it was going to be me, so I'm thrilled."
"It's really been an honor," said Schneider, who ultimately tallied $1,382,800. "To know that I'm one of the most successful people at a game I've loved since I was a kid and to know that I'm a part of its history now, I just don't know how to process it."
Schneider's ranking on the all-time list is behind only Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutive games in 2004. She displaced the previous second-place holder, Matt Amodio, who won 38 straight games and against whom she faces off this fall in the show's Tournament of Champions.