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Matt Amodio
MATT AMODIO 09 20 2021 SN8471.png
Name: Matthew Benjamin Amodio
Born: December 4, 1990
Birth Hometown: Medina, Ohio
Occupation: Computer Science Graduate Student
Computer Science Research Assistant
Statistician and Data Scientist
Game Show Contestant
Known for: His 38-game Jeopardy! winning streak

Matthew "Matt" Amodio (b. December 4, 1990) is an American game show contestant who won 38 consecutive games on the game show Jeopardy!. A PhD student in computer science at Yale University, he has won $1,519,601 in 39 appearances on Jeopardy!, the second-longest such streak in the show's history, behind Ken Jennings. making him the third millionaire contestant (based on regular-season play) after Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer. He is the tenth highest-earning American game show contestant of all time. Across all American game shows, he is the tenth highest-earning contestant of all time. His run on the show has been called the "Amodio Rodeo".

Early Life and Education[]

Amodio is a native of Medina County, Ohio. He holds a bachelors degree from Ohio State University and a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is currently pursuing a PhD from Yale University.

Game Show Appearances[]

Academic Challenge[]

Amodio was a contestant on the quiz show Academic Challenge on WEWS in Cleveland, Ohio, while studying at Medina High School in 2009. Participating with two fellow students against two competing high schools, his Medina team finished in second place.

Jeopardy![]

Amodio is the third-highest earner of all time in regular-season play, second-most successful in consecutive games won and fourth-biggest all-time winner. Amodio averaged $39,963 per victory, second highest all-time to James Holzhauer at $76,944. During season 37, Amodio qualified as the first seed in the next Tournament of Champions.

Amodio's winning streak came during an interregnum in the show's hosting position after longtime host Alex Trebek died in November 2020, during which the show was helmed by guest hosts. Amodio's streak spanned episodes hosted by Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, David Faber, Joe Buck, Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik. As Jeopardy! films 5 episodes per filming day, Amodio filmed his 39 episodes on 9 separate days (3 on his first day, 1 on his final day).

Strategy[]

Amodio is noted for his strategy of consistently prefacing his responses with "What's" instead of adjusting the interrogative pronoun to fit the response. He chose this method because Jeopardy! rules allow any question containing the correct response to be used; by not having to adjust the pronoun, he has one less thing to think about when formulating a response, potentially speeding response time. He has credited Wikipedia's format for allowing him to meander through various topics in a random but logical progression and learn content quickly.

Regular Play Winnings[]

  • Yellow is non-lock game, Red is eliminated(†: second place, ‡: third place).
Game No. Air Date Host Final score Cumulative Winnings Notes
1 July 21, 2021 Robin Roberts $40,400 $40,400
2 July 22, 2021 $41,000 $81,400
3 July 23, 2021 $20,000 $101,400
4 July 26, 2021 LeVar Burton $21,000 $122,400 Fellow competitor Patrick Pearce finishes the Double Jeopardy round with -$7,400, which is the lowest score ever recorded; however, adjusted for doubled dollar values, the pre-doubled -$5,100 set in Season 1 by Joan Kantor is the current record.
5 July 27, 2021 $25,400 $147,800
6 July 28, 2021 $47,000 $194,800
7 July 29, 2021 $74,000 $268,800 Matt achieved a Coryat score of $39,000 in this game, which is the second-highest Coryat of all time; ironically, the record of $39,200 was set by Ken Jennings in his seventh game.
8 July 30, 2021 $22,400 $291,200
9 August 2, 2021 David Faber $19,200 $310,400
10 August 3, 2021 $52,000 $362,400
11 August 4, 2021 $6,200 $368,600 Broke the record for most money lost on a single Final Jeopardy wager, with $37,000; this surpasses both the adjusted record (pre-doubled $15,000 by Jack Lechner in 12/2/88) and the unadjusted record ($22,200 by Alex Lamb earlier in 7/13/21).
12 August 5, 2021 $26,000 $394,600
13 August 6, 2021 $35,600 $430,200
14 August 9, 2021 Joe Buck $10,400 $440,600 The final week of Season 37; First game in which Amodio crossed out the correct response in Final.
15 August 10, 2021 $35,000 $475,600
16 August 11, 2021 $29,600 $505,200 Second game in which Amodio crossed out the correct response in Final.
17 August 12, 2021 $42,400 $547,600 Surpassed Jason Zuffraneiri for regular-season earnings and took the third-place spot in that regard.
18 August 13, 2021 $27,201 $574,801 Season 37 finale. Amodio finished Double Jeopardy with exactly twice as much money as challenger Nicolle Neulist; they bet everything and missed Final, and he bet $1 and got it right. Amodio’s run would go on a month-long hiatus for two weeks of “Around The World With Alex” episodes as well as reruns of the 2021 Tournament of Champions, hosted by Buzzy Cohen.
19 September 13, 2021 Mike Richards $67,800 $642,601 Season 38 premiere. Amodio tied Jason Zuffranieri and David Madden for fourth longest winning streak. $67,800 is also believed to be a one-day record for a season premiere.
20 September 14, 2021 $36,200 $678,801
21 September 15, 2021 $61,200 $740,001 Passed Julia Collins for third longest winning streak; additionally, Amodio became only the third contestant to pass $60,000 three times.
22 September 16, 2021 $35,400 $775,401 Amodio started Double Jeopardy with -$600 and ended it with $30,400; this is the highest amount of money amassed in Double Jeopardy after entering the round with a negative total and win regular game after being below $0 going into DJ! since Zach Newkirk on june 9, 2020 (31th all-time since october 2004). Passed David Madden for fourth-highest earnings (including tournament play).
23 September 17, 2021 $50,400 $825,801
24 September 20, 2021 Mayim Bialik $31,200 $857,001 First non-runaway game where Amodio was actually in danger of losing as he did not get Final Jeopardy correct; luckily, second-place challenger Tracy Pitzel did not either.
25 September 21, 2021 $36,200 $893,201 Broke the record for most money lost on a Daily Double ($15,000).
26 September 22, 2021 $36,200 $929,401
27 September 23, 2021 $25,800 $955,201 Second game in which Amodio crossed out the correct response in Final.
28 September 24, 2021 $48,800 $1,004,001 Amodio became the third contestant to reach $1,000,000 in regular play, and fourth overall (including tournaments). Achieved the record faster than Ken Jennings (30 games) but slower than James Holzhauer (14 games).
29 September 27, 2021 $33,000 $1,037,001
30 September 28, 2021 $70,400 $1,107,401 Amodio became only the second contestant to surpass $70,000 two times.
31 September 29, 2021 $50,600 $1,158,001
32 September 30, 2021 $54,400 $1,212,401 Final Jeopardy! question was the creation of the Hippocrene spring. Amodio correctly gave the Greek divine horse Pegasus as the answer. Host Mayim Bialik also noted that the "Hippo" in Hippocrene means "horse." Coincidentally, the $400 Animals clue from the series premiere on September 10, 1984 was "Close relative of the pig, though its name means 'river horse'", to which the correct response was "What is hippopotamus?"
33 October 1, 2021 $55,400 $1,267,801 Moved into #10 on American game show winnings list. Passed James Holzhauer for second-longest winning streak in regular play.
34 October 4, 2021 $83,000 $1,350,801 $83,000 is currently the highest one-day total of anybody not named James Holzhauer.
35 October 5, 2021 $50,000 $1,400,801
36 October 6, 2021 $16,600 $1,417,401
37 October 7, 2021 $50,400 $1,467,801 The sweater Amodio wore this game was originally owned by James Weldon, who Amodio defeated in his 12th game.
38 October 8, 2021 $50,800 $1,518,601 Last game with Mike Richards as executive producer & writer.
39 October 11, 2021 $5,600 $1,519,601 First game with Michael Davies as executive producer. Defeated by challenger Jonathan Fisher, who finished the game with $29,200.
Amodio trailed Fisher and another challenger Jessica Stephens heading into Final Jeopardy!, the first time he trailed a challenger at that point of the game. He was awarded the standard $1,000 prize for finishing third place. 10th game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy.

Association with Champions[]

Ken Jennings[]

  • Both achieved the highest Coyrat Score record in their 7th games.
  • Both holds a record of over $70,000.
  • The difference is that Ken Jenning has only done it once, while Matt Amodio has done it three times.
  • He struggled in an 18-game winning streak. Matt was at risk of a come-back defeat, and Ken Jenning struggled enough to set the record for an all-time opponent in 18 straight wins.
  • About a month later, I became a millionaire.
  • Except for the episode where both got off, they held the 1st place until the end.

Jonathan Fisher[]

  • Both held first place when they reached the championship, doubled the prize money in FJ and won.
  • They didn't miss 1st place until they both got off.

Mattea Roach[]

  • Both were college students at the time of the show.
  • The title was handed over to the champions of the same gender, and both new champions succeeded in re-election.

Ryan Long[]

  • Both left on Monday, finishing in third place.
  • All the new champions succeeded in winning more than 5 consecutive victories.

Trivia[]

  • The 10+ champions dropped off on Monday along with David Madden, Julia Collins, and James Holzhauer.
  • Like James Holzhauer, the victor has a history of winning streak, both of which have appeared on ToC.
  • Starting with him, it is not an exaggeration to say that the dynasty of long-term champions was opened. Jonathan Fisher, who defeated him, had 11 straight wins, and Tyler Rhode succeeded in winning five in a row after defeating Nancy Donehower, who had defeated Fisher. After the fifth episodes, Amy Schneider, who defeated Andrew He on a five-game winning streak, go for 40 wins. Also, three months later, Mattea Roach had a 23-game winning streak, and a week after leaving, Ryan Long had a 16-game winning streak. For that reason, there are only 31 champions including him in the S38 (based on 190 episodes).
  • He competed over two seasons, like 10+ champions Ken Jennings, David Madden, and Jason Zuffranieri.
  • He is 10th for American game show winnings records.
  • So far, along with Amy Schneider, he is considered a ToC contender. However, the ToC winner is Dan Melia, who participated in S13-14, among those who have won more than 5 consecutive victories over 2 seasons so far. It remains to be seen whether the jinx can be broken.[1]
  • If the 2022 ToC is held without any special events, like S25 ToC runner-up Larissa Kelly, he is the second participant with a higher regular game prize money than the longest winning streak champion.
  • If he had broken Ken jenning's record of 74 and won 75, he would have set the record exactly 17 years after Ken left. That too in front of ken sitting in the mc seat.
  • After Zach Newkirk among the champions with 5 or more wins, he is the second participant to meet two or more hosts when trying to win a streak[2].
  • According to the interview, the winning prize money will be used for finance.
  • After he got off, the champions after Matt A had more than 10 wins in a row if they succeeded in the challenge of 6 consecutive wins. It was broken by Eric Ahasic.

References[]

  1. Even the 19-game winning streak David Madden and Jason Zuffranieri have suffered in the semi-finals, but it's unclear what will happen as James Holuhazer, the 32-winner, became the first champion to win 10 or more wins in a row.
  2. Mattea Roach later met two or more hosts for the third time.
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