Danger!‘s Tournament of Champions (TOC) has officially crowned a winner after six games, as Amy Schneider took top honors on the Monday, November 21 broadcast.
The Oakland, California-based writer beat out competitors Andrew He and Sam Buttrey after an intense intellectual competition. Schneider was the first of three competitors to win three final games, earning her the $250,000 grand prize. Meanwhile, He, a software developer from San Francisco, came in second with $100,000, and Buttrey, an operations research professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Pacific Grove, California, came in third with $50,000.
“I feel amazing,” Schneider said after his win. “Early on in the final, I had this sudden moment of looking at myself and saying, ‘I’m on stage at the Tournament of Champions final,’ and that was crazy. And I won! It’s a great feeling.”
Despite not finding any Daily Doubles in the final game, Schneider emerged victorious against Buttrey, who found all three, but followed Schnieder and He into Final Jeopardy. Heading into that round of the competition, Schneider led with $15,600, was right behind her with $14,200, and Buttrey had $8,000.
The final danger! The clue came from a category titled “Plays”, with the clue stating: “The Washington Evening Star of January 12, 1864, reported a performance of this ‘elegant comedy’ before ‘a full and delighted room’.” Ultimately, the correct answer was, “What is ‘Our American Cousin’?”
Buttrey went all-in and missed the correct answer, automatically eliminating him. Meanwhile, Schneider and He answered correctly. In the end, He’s bet of $2,801 put his final total at $17,001, but it wasn’t enough to beat Schneider, whose $13,000 bet brought his final score to $28,600.
OCD served as a rematch for Schneider and He, who previously met in season 38 when she ended He’s five-game streak and then went on a historic 40-game streak. The impressive run during a regular season put Schneider at number two behind Ken Jennings for all-time players.
“both wanted [compete against him] and I was afraid to face him again,” Schneider said of going against He. “I knew that he was one of the best competitors on the field. He was definitely someone who knew he could beat me because he almost did it before, and he did it a couple of times here as well. Any one of the three of us really could have won if a very small number of things had gone differently. I’m glad we had a fair chance to test our skills against each other, and I’d love to play him again one day, in some capacity.”
Along with his remarkable Danger! gameplay, Schneider makes history as the show’s first openly transgender contestant to compete and win Danger!Tournament of Champions. “I’m going to keep going out there and being myself,” she said. “To be in places where people like me haven’t been before, it’s a very powerful thing.”
Schneider’s win serves as the highlight of his storied Season 38 run, during which he appeared alongside super-streakers like Matt Amodio and Mattea Roach. The fantastic gameplay will surely not be forgotten anytime soon. In the meantime, viewers can look forward to the return of the normal gameplay of the show as the 39th season of Danger! keep going.
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