What is Ottawa? Jeopardy! champ comes to see for herself

·2 min read
During her remarkable run on Jeopardy! earlier this year, contestant Amy Schneider was unable to come up with the question, 'What is Ottawa?' A couple weekends ago, Schneider visited the capital to see for herself. (Jeopardy Productions, Inc./The Associated Press - image credit)
During her remarkable run on Jeopardy! earlier this year, contestant Amy Schneider was unable to come up with the question, 'What is Ottawa?' A couple weekends ago, Schneider visited the capital to see for herself. (Jeopardy Productions, Inc./The Associated Press - image credit)

Amy Schneider earned $1.3 million in prize money on Jeopardy! by correctly answering trivia questions — or, if you're a stickler, by correctly asking the questions that matched the answers provided.

Schneider's 40-game winning streak, which stretched from November until late January, was the second-longest run in the popular game show's history. Only Ken Jennings, who hosted the show while Schneider was a contestant, enjoyed greater longevity.

But Schneider found herself stumped when it came to one Final Jeopardy! clue: "An annual event called Winterlude includes skating on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in this city."

Schneider, who hails from Dayton, Ohio, guessed Amsterdam. The correct answer? Ottawa, of course.

LISTEN | Full interview with Amy Schneider:

In response, Ottawa Tourism offered the Jeopardy! star a free trip to the capital so she could become better acquainted. Two weekends ago, Schneider saw the Rideau Canal with her own eyes.

"I could see why it was a world heritage site," she told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

Ottawa is a 'beautiful city'

Schneider said she arrived knowing very little about Ottawa.

"I came in with no particular expectations one way or the other, and it was really a great weekend," she said. "It's a beautiful city."

She visited the Tulip Festival, enjoyed local cuisine and even found time to reflect on her Jeopardy! performance.

"The key thing that I realized I missed was that Winterlude is English, and so it wouldn't have been Amsterdam," she said. "That was the one thing that could have clued me in."

Faceoff with Canadian champ Mattea Roach

Recent Canadian Jeopardy! champ Mattea Roach has called Schneider, who is transgender, an inspiration. Schneider said she was pleased that Roach has expressed pride in being part of a new wave of queer and trans Jeopardy! contestants.

"I knew another great champion was going to come along at some point," Schneider said. "I'm so glad that it was Mattea and ... another new face and new type of person."

The Canadian Press/Jeopardy Productions, Inc.
The Canadian Press/Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

In fact, Roach and Schneider are set to face off in the annual Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions later this year.

Schneider said part of her is hoping there will be a question about Ottawa.

"Ask me about Colonel By," she joked. "I'm ready to go!"

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