If you’ve ever wanted to know all there is to know about Jeopardy!’s most acclaimed women contestants, you’ve come to the right place. In this list, we’ve compiled all the information you could possibly need about the top ten women Jeopardy! winners of all time.
Though the Jeopardy! space has historically largely been dominated by men, there are plenty of women who have broken through the trivia glass ceiling to become champions themselves. The contestants we’ve listed are notable for their long streaks and sizable monetary earnings from the show.
Below, we highlight the stats, personas, and memorable moments of each of the top ten female Jeopardy! winners of all time. We’ve organized the contestants based on their accolades, so we’ll be starting off with the biggest winners. Read on to find out everything there is to know about these fierce woman contestants and their reigns on America’s favorite game show.
1. Amy Schneider
First up, we’ve got Amy Schneider. Originally an engineering manager hailing from Oakland, California, Amy Schneider had a massive 39 episode winning streak during Jeopardy!’s season 38. She appeared on the show from November 18, 2021 to January 26, 2022. Schneider’s winning streak is the second longest one in Jeopardy! history, placing only Ken Jennings ahead of her. Additionally, her extended time on Jeopardy! was enough to make her the winningest woman inthe history of the show.
Schneider earned over $1.3 million dollars ($1,382,800, to be exact) during her run on the show, plus she took the $250,000 grand prize at the November 2022 Tournament of Champions. This makes her the fourth-highest earner in the history of regular season Jeopardy! and the fifth-highest earner in terms of all play. Imagine earning that much cash
Amy Schneider was known for her quick responses and Final Jeopardy betting strategy. She often arrived at this ultimate round with far more money than her competitors, so she’d place riskier bets in order to maximize her earnings. In a tweet, she once described her betting strategy in the following way: “round up the second place score to the nearest thousand, double it, subtract it from my score, and then subtract another thousand in case I’d messed something up.” Knowing how much money Schneider earned on the show, this strategy clearly paid off!
During her historic run on the show, Schneider gained recognition for being the first transgender person to carry on such an epic Jeopardy! streak. Schneider also made history as the first openly trans woman to make it to the Tournament of Champions on Jeopardy!. In light of her big wins on Jeopardy!, she has been hailed by the LGBTQ+ community as an icon and role model.
Click below to watch some iconic highlights of Amy Schneider’s massive Jeopardy! winning streak:
2. Mattea Roach
Next on the list, we’ve got Mattea Roach. Roach was a contestant on season 38 of Jeopardy!. This was a season that was packed with super champions, and Mattea made her mark during April of last year. She appeared on the show from April 5, 2022 to May 6, 2022.
As a member of Gen Z, Mattea Roach is the youngest contestant to ever win as a repeat super champion. She was only 23 years old during her epic winning streak that coincidentally lasted 23 episodes. This makes her the contestant with the fifth longest winning streak in show history.
Her winnings during the regular season of Jeopardy! totaled $560,983, making her the sixth highest earner from regular season Jeopardy! play. and tenth highest earner including Tournament of Champion earnings.
Roach is also the most successful Canadian contestant to ever appear on Jeopardy!. Born in Halifax, she worked as a tutor before appearing on the show. If only Canadian native Alex Trebek had been around to witness her incredible run on the show!
Mattea Roach was known for her quick wit and upbeat yet grounded persona on the Jeopardy! stage. She’s gained visibility as a lesbian in the public eye and her persona on the show and beyond reflects both her queer identity and Gen-Z sensibilities. Her personal style on the show (which included statement earrings and vintage blazers) also garnered plenty of attention on social media.
Click below to watch some of Mattea’s best moments and see her in action:
3. Julia Collins
Third on the list of the top ten women contestants is Julia Collins. A Madeira School, Wellesley College, and MIT graduate, Julia Collins is a supply chain professional living in Illinois. She appeared on season 30 of Jeopardy!.
Until Amy Schneider’s reign during season 39, Julia Collins held the record for the most consecutive wins of any woman contestant on Jeopardy!. Her run lasted from April 21, 2014 to May 30, 2014. Now, she holds the title for the seventh longest Jeopardy! winning streak in history.
Julia Collins accumulated $428,100 during her time on the show—now, that’s a lot of cash! When she appeared on the show, this was the third largest amount of money that any Jeopardy! contestant had amassed during their run. This sum makes her the ninth highest earner from regular season Jeopardy! play.
Click below to check out Julia Collins on the show:
4. Larissa Kelly
In fourth, we’ve got Larissa Kelly. When she appeared on the show during season 24, Kelly was a grad student hailing from El Cerrito, California. She was the first female Jeopardy! winner to exceed five appearances on the show.
Larissa Kelly’s regular season plus tournament earnings totaled $655,930, putting her in eighth place on the all-time winnings board. She earned $222,597 during her six winning games of regular play Jeopardy!, which, at the time of her appearance, made her the third highest earner of all time on the show, excluding tournament play. Until Julia Collins appeared on the scene in season 30, Kelly held the record for highest winnings earned by a woman on the show.
Fun fact: Larissa isn’t the only member of her family to appear on the fabled game show! Her husband, Jeff Hoppes, competed against Ken Jennings in season 21, and her sister, Arianna Kelly, also appeared on season 24. It seems like trivia success runs in the family, huh?
Below, you can look at some of Larissa Kelly’s best Jeopardy! moments.
5. Jennifer Quail
Fifth on our list of the top ten women Jeopardy! winners of all time is Jennifer Quail. Quail won eight games of Jeopardy! in 2019, earning $228,000 in the process. She appeared on the show’s 36th season from December 4, 2019, to December 16, 2019.
Quail was also the first runner-up at the 2021 Tournament of Champions, earning an additional $100,000.
Jennifer Quail auditioned for Jeopardy! four times before being chosen as a contestant. Perseverance pays off, folks!
She also wins the award for the most fun job on this list—a wine-tasting consultant in Dowagiac, Michigan.
See Jennifer Quail take on Jeopardy! gameplay in the following clips:
6. MacKenzie Jones
Sixth on our list is MacKenzie Jones. Jones appeared on Jeopardy!’s 36th season, during which she won eight games in a row. She raked in an enviable $204,808 during her regular season Jeopardy! gameplay.
Jones also earned $5000 for her appearance as a quarterfinalist during the 2021 Tournament of Champions.
Funnily enough, MacKenzie’s brother, John Lance, also appeared on season 36 of Jeopardy!. Small trivia world, huh!
Below are some of MacKenzie Jones’s most notable Jeopardy! moments.
7. Karen Farrell
Much like MacKenzie Jones and Jennifer Quail, Karen Farrell won eight consecutive games of Jeopardy! during season 36. These episodes aired from December 26, 2019 to January 7, 2020. (If you’re curious as to why so many Jeopardy! contestants have maintained longer winning streaks in recent years, check out this article.)
During her time on the regular Jeopardy! season, Karen Farrell rounded up $159,603 through her savvy gameplay. That’s a lot of dollars!
Farrell was also a Tournament of Champions semifinalist. She was awarded $10,000 for her appearance in the semifinals after beating Nibir Sarma and Steve Moulds out in the quarterfinals.
Catch Karen in action, then listen to her Tournament of Champions interview below:
8. Pam Mueller
Pam Mueller comes in eighth place on our list of the top ten women Jeopardy! winners of all time. Mueller earned her Jeopardy! fame entirely from tournaments and special episodes. That’s right—she’s never appeared on an episode of regular season Jeopardy!.
Mueller first competed on the show during the 2000 College Championship when she was a student at Loyola University. She won the championship, earning $50,000 and a brand new car. After this, she returned to the show four more times: first in 2001, for the Tournament of Champions; then, in 2005 for the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, where she made it through to the Sweet Six round.
She then appeared on the show for the 2014 Battle of the Decades where she raked in $25,000 as a semifinalist and the 2019 All-Star Games, where she competed on the team that earned second runner-up.
Throughout her time competing in all of these tournaments, Pam Mueller earned over $215,000, which is no small sum! The bulk of this money was earned during the 2005 Ultimate Tournament of Champions, where she made $102,201.
Pam Mueller has also appeared on two other famous quiz game shows, 500 Questions and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
9. Stephanie Jass
Next on our list is Stephanie Jass. In October 2012, Stephanie Jass set the record for a female contestant’s Jeopardy! streak with her seven shows of wins. This was less than a decade after Jeopardy!’s five-episode streak cap was lifted, and Larissa Kelly was the only woman who’d exceeded a five episode streak before Jass came around.
During her season 29 run, Stephanie Jass earned $147,570. She also participated in the 2013 Tournament of Champions and the 2014 Battle of the Decades, cumulatively earning $15,000.
Though we’re all for celebrating Jass’s big Jeopardy! wins, we’d be remiss not to mention her recent criminal scandal. In 2018, Jass pleaded guilty to hacking into the emails of several fellow Adrian College professors. She faced five years in prison but got off with a year of probation. And they say that Jeopardy! doesn’t bring the drama!
10. Emma Boettcher
Emma Boettcher (rhymes with “stretcher”) is best known for dethroning James Holzhauer after his enormous winning streak. That’s no small feat! Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, this user experience librarian bested one of the biggest names in Jeopardy! and ended his reign of 32 wins during season 35.
Boettcher won three games of Jeopardy! before being eliminated during her fourth appearance on the show. During these games, she accumulated a sweet $97,002.
Emma Boettcher set a record for the most money won in a single day on Jeopardy! by any female contestant. Boettcher also took home $100,000 during the 2019 Tournament of Champions as the first runner-up.
Thanks for reading our comprehensive list of the top ten female Jeopardy! winners of all time. We hope it gave you some insight into the history of the famed TV game show. As Jeopardy! continues its reign as the foremost trivia quiz show in the world, we can’t wait to watch as more women come to the podium and dominate the leaderboard.
Want to learn even more about Jeopardy!? We’ve got plenty of content for you! Delve into our Jeopardy! blog archives to find an overload of trivia about America’s favorite game show. And if you want to test how you’d perform as a contestant on the show, quiz yourself using one of our many lists of Jeopardy! questions, like this one about the famous Potpourri category or this compilation of Final Jeopardy clues and answers. With the help of Trivia Bliss, you’ll be ready for your Jeopardy! appearance in no time.
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