New Jeopardy! Champ Rhone Talsma on Beating Amy Schneider: 'I Did Not Expect' to 'Slay the Giant'

Jeopardy!‘s new champ is just as surprised as the rest of us.

Rhone Talsma, who will go down in game show history as the contestant who ended Amy Schneider’s staggering 40-day winning streak, says his victory has left him “in shock,” adding, “This is my favorite show. 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.”

As we reported, Talsma — a librarian from Chicago — finished in first place in Wednesday’s episode with $29,600 (to Schneider’s $19,600). His path to the winners’ circle was foreshadowed after he nailed a key Daily Double clue late in the Double Jeopardy! round, which kept the game competitive heading into Final Jeopardy! (where Schneider led Talsma $27,600 had $17,600).

The Final Jeopardy! category was “Countries in the World” and the clue read: “The only nation in the world whose name in English ends with an H, it’s also one of the 10 most populous.” The correct response: “What is Bangladesh?”

Talsma responded correctly; Schneider left her response card blank.

In addition to holding the No. 2 spot on the all-time consecutive wins list behind only current host Ken Jennings (74 wins), Schneider ranks in fourth place on the all-time regular season cash winnings list behind Matt Amodio ($1,518,601), James Holzhauer ($2,462,216), and Jennings ($2,520,700).

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