The secret to 'Jeopardy!' champion's success: 'Who is Eminem?'

'Jeopardy' winner, who has amassed more than $1.1 million in earnings, says she turns to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' to get psyched up before tapings.

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Eminem isn't a "Jeopardy!" contestant, but he's fueling one of the show's all-time greats. 

Amy Schneider, the current reigning, defending and undisputed "Jeopardy!" champion, draws her winning inspiration from Eminem's Oscar-winning "8 Mile" theme "Lose Yourself," she told host Ken Jennings on Wednesday's episode of the syndicated game show. 

"Jeopardy!" champion Amy Schneider says she draws inspiration from Eminem's "Lose Yourself."

Jennings, himself the all-time winningest "Jeopardy!" champ, asked Schneider during the interview segment about her pre-show ritual, and what gets her into "fighting shape" for the show. 

Without her palms getting sweaty, her knees weak or her arms heavy, she went on to pay homage to Eminem's 2002 smash. 

"Right before the taping starts when they’re doing the countdown, I will get the song 'Lose Yourself' by Eminem going in my head," said Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California. "It’s just a reminder that this is my one shot at 'Jeopardy!' and it’s staying in the moment, and there’s no excuse for thinking about anything else. This is the only thing I need to think about right now."

"Well it appears to be working out," Jennings said, before adding in a "Lose Yourself" reference of his own: "If you’re going to be on 'Jeopardy,' " he said, "think about mom’s spaghetti, and you may win 35 times in a row." 

That total is now up to 36. Schneider, 42, won again on Wednesday, despite missing the Final Jeopardy! clue, an answer about which 2001 film was described by its screenwriters as "Clueless" meets "The Paper Chase." (The winning question: "What is 'Legally Blonde?'" Schneider guessed "Never Been Kissed.") 

But she won nonetheless, adding $17,800 to her total, bringing her earnings to $1,181,8000 and making Stans everywhere proud. 

Schneider goes for win No. 37 on Thursday's show, which airs locally on WDIV-TV (Ch. 4) at 7:30 p.m.