Matt Amodio

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Matthew Amodio
Matthew Benjamin Amodio

(1990-12-04) December 4, 1990 (age 33)
EducationOhio State University (BS, MS)
University of Wisconsin–Madison (MS)
Yale University (PhD)
Known for38-game Jeopardy! winning streak

Matthew Benjamin Amodio[1][2] (born December 4, 1990) is an American mathematician and game show contestant who won 38 consecutive games on the game show Jeopardy! in 2021, the third-longest streak in the show's history, behind Ken Jennings and Amy Schneider.[3][4] A PhD student in computer science at Yale University,[5][6][7] Amodio won $1,519,601 in 39 appearances on Jeopardy!,[8][9] making him the third millionaire contestant on the show in regular-season play.[10][11] Across all American game shows, Amodio is the tenth highest-earning contestant of all time. His run on the show has been called the "Amodio Rodeo".[12][13][14]

Early life and education[edit]

Born on December 4, 1990, Amodio is a native of Medina County, Ohio.[15] He attended Medina High School where he graduated as valedictorian of the class of 2009.[16] Amodio graduated from The Ohio State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Actuarial Science from the Department of Mathematics, while also earning a master's degree in Statistics.[17] He also earned a Master's of Science (MS) degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2017.[18] Amodio received a PhD in Computer Science from Yale University.[19][5][20][21]

After receiving degrees from The Ohio State University, Amodio worked for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton from January 2014 until July 2015 "design[ing] and programm[ing] algorithms for machine learning applications," "construct[ing] interpretable network graph models from massive social media data," and "research[ing] algorithmic models and frameworks for graph analysis of IP networks."[1]

Game show appearances[edit]

Academic Challenge[edit]

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.[22][23]


Amodio is the third-highest earner of all time in regular-season play,[24] third-most successful in consecutive games won[25] and fourth-biggest all-time winner.[26] 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.[27] He responded to 1,299 clues—54.6% of all of the clues given—correctly over the course of his run.[28]

Actor Jonathan Fisher, originally from Coral Gables, Florida, who would himself amass an 11-game winning streak,[29] defeated Amodio in his 39th and final game.[30] The episode originally aired October 11, 2021.[31] Both appeared in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions that aired in November 2022 but did not play each other.[32] Amodio lost to Sam Buttrey.[33] In May 2023, Amodio and Buttrey (who was the Professors Tournament champion in Season 38) were invited to the Jeopardy! Masters tournament. Buttrey was eliminated in the first round, while Amodio was a finalist and finished third behind James Holzhauer and Mattea Roach.


To become a contestant on Jeopardy!, a prospect must successfully pass a test prepared by the production team as a first step in the audition process. Amodio was repeatedly encouraged by his father to take the online test. After taking the online test twice, Amodio was invited to personally audition for the show.[34] In addition to the test results, the producers consider the personality of the prospective contestant; as an introvert, Amodio was concerned that he would not be interesting enough for the show.[35]

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, and Joe Buck. Mike Richards was named permanent host on August 11, 2021, but lasted only one taping day (first week of season 38), and was replaced by interim host Mayim Bialik (who rotated the rest of season 38 with Ken Jennings, but Amodio's reign ended before Jennings' official term as host, as Jennings was the first host of the interregnum). As Jeopardy! tapes five episodes per production day, Amodio recorded his 39 episodes on nine separate days (three on his first day, one on his final day).[36]

Amodio played with his seventh different host during the Tournament of Champions, which featured Jennings as host, and won a Jennings-hosted game in the Masters tournament, where he defeated Andrew He (Season 39 Tournament of Champions finalist) and James Holzhauer (Season 36 Tournament of Champions winner) in his second game, becoming only the third contestant in Jeopardy! history to defeat Holzhauer (Emma Bochetter, in Game 33, current host Ken Jennings, thrice in the two-legged tie of The Greatest of All Time).


Amodio is noted for his strategy of consistently prefacing his responses with "What's" instead of adjusting the interrogative pronoun to fit the response. Amodio 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.[37] Amodio has credited Wikipedia's wikilinks format for allowing him to meander through various topics in a random but logical progression and learn content quickly.[20][37]

Regular play winnings[edit]

Game No. Air Date Host Final score Cumulative Winnings Notes
1 July 21 Robin Roberts $40,400* $40,400
2 July 22 $41,000 $81,400
3 July 23 $20,000 $101,400 First game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round.
4 July 26 LeVar Burton $21,000* $122,400 Contestant Patrick Pearce scored the lowest ever (non-adjusted) score of -$7,400.
5 July 27 $25,400* $147,800
6 July 28 $47,000 $194,800
7 July 29 $74,000 $268,800
8 July 30 $22,400 $291,200 Second game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round.
9 August 2 David Faber $19,200 $310,400 Third game in which Amodio failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round.
10 August 3 $52,000 $362,400
11 August 4 $6,200 $368,600 Fourth game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round. Broke record for most winnings lost on Final Jeopardy! in regular play ($37,000). His lowest winning single day total.
12 August 5 $26,000 $394,600 His lowest single day total runaway game with a correct Final Jeopardy! response.
13 August 6 $35,600 $430,200
14 August 9 Joe Buck $10,400 $440,600 Fifth game in which Amodio failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round. Amodio crossed out the correct response in Final.
15 August 10 $35,000 $475,600
16 August 11 $29,600 $505,200 Sixth game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round. Crossed out the correct response in Final.
17 August 12 $42,400* $547,600 Reached third-place on all-time Jeopardy! regular play winnings list
18 August 13 $27,201* $574,801 Season 37 finale of Jeopardy!. Amodio was in a "lock-tie" situation headed to Final Jeopardy!, which since season 34 rule change meant he had to wager as least $1 to prevent a tie-breaker, win or lose. Amodio's run went on a month-long hiatus following the end of the season.
19 September 13 Mike Richards $67,800 $642,601 Season 38 premiere of Jeopardy!. Mike Richards had been named permanent host days before taping, but left after this taping day.
20 September 14 $36,200 $678,801
21 September 15 $61,200 $740,001 Passed Julia Collins for third-longest winning streak in regular play.
22 September 16 $35,400 $775,401
23 September 17 $50,400 $825,801
24 September 20 Mayim Bialik $31,200* $857,001 Seventh game in which Amodio failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round. The only game in which a contestant (Tracy Pitzel) had an opportunity to end Amodio's streak by correctly answering Final Jeopardy!, which she failed to do.[38]
25 September 21 $36,200 $893,201
26 September 22 $36,200 $929,401
27 September 23 $25,800 $955,201 Eighth game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round. Crossed out the correct response in Final.
28 September 24 $48,800 $1,004,001 Became third Jeopardy! contestant to win $1 million in regular gameplay winnings
29 September 27 $33,000 $1,037,001
30 September 28 $70,400 $1,107,401
31 September 29 $50,600 $1,158,001
32 September 30 $54,400 $1,212,401
33 October 1 $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 $83,000 $1,350,801 Highest single game score ever achieved by a contestant other than Holzhauer. 13th highest overall.
35 October 5 $50,000 $1,400,801
36 October 6 $16,600 $1,417,401 Ninth game in which he failed to give a correct response in Final Jeopardy! round.
37 October 7 $50,400 $1,467,801
38 October 8 $50,800 $1,518,601 Last episode with Mike Richards as executive producer.
39 October 11 $5,600‡ $1,519,601 Defeated by challenger Jonathan Fisher, who finished the game with $29,200. At the end of the first round, Amodio had $9,800; Fisher had $4,000; and challenger Jessica Stephens had $2,400. At the end of Double Jeopardy!, Fisher was in the lead with $14,600; Stephens was in second place with $14,400; and Amodio was in third with $10,600. This was the first time that Amodio trailed going into Final Jeopardy! round. Amodio gave the wrong response and finished third. He was awarded $1,000. This was the 10th game in which he failed to give a correct response in the Final Jeopardy! round. First episode with Michael Davies as executive producer.
* Yellow background denotes game which was not a runaway (lead going into Final Jeopardy! round could not guarantee a win).
‡ Red background denotes game in which Amodio is defeated.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Matthew Amodio". Linked In.
  2. ^ Jeopardy!, Sony, 2021
  3. ^ Stelloh, Tim (October 11, 2021). "Second-longest winning streak on 'Jeopardy!' ends at 38". NBC News. NBC News. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Michael Ausiello (January 24, 2022). "Jeopardy! Champ Amy Schneider Climbs to No. 2 on All-Time Wins List, Behind Reigning MVP Ken Jennings". TVLine. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Matthew Amodio". Yale University Computer Science. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  6. ^ Aquilina, Tyler (July 31, 2021). "Jeopardy champion Matt Amodio on LeVar Burton, pop culture, and why he didn't want to try out for the show". Entertainment Weekly.
  7. ^ Weisholtz, Drew (August 13, 2021). "Current 'Jeopardy!' champion becomes 3rd-highest earner in show's history". Today. Archived from the original on August 13, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  8. ^ Saunders, Andy (6 October 2021). "Today's Final Jeopardy – Wednesday, October 6, 2021". The Jeopardy! Fan.
  9. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 38. Sony Pictures Television. August 13, 2021. Syndication.
  10. ^ Rice, Nicholas (September 26, 2021). "Ph.D. Student Matt Amodio Becomes Third Jeopardy! Champion to Win $1 Million in Regular Play". People. Meredith Corporation.
  11. ^ "Jeopardy! Contestant Zone: Highest Winnings (Regular-Season Play)". Jeopardy!. August 26, 2021.
  12. ^ Kiner, Deb (August 1, 2021). "'Amodio Rodeo' continues on 'Jeopardy!' as he wrangles second-most consecutive wins".
  13. ^ "Matt Amodio's historic run on "Jeopardy!" finally over – it came to be known as the "Amodio Rodeo"". CBS News. Associated Press. August 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Vadaj, Rachel (August 11, 2021). "Northeast Ohio Jeopardy! contestant Matt Amodio's 38-game win streak ends". WOIO.
  15. ^ "Medina County native and OSU grad Matt Amodio continues 'Jeopardy!' streak with 27th win". USA Today Network. Gannett. September 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Morona, Joey (29 July 2021). "Medina native dominates on 'Jeopardy!'". Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  17. ^ "Actuarial Science Alum Amodio Shines On Jeopardy". Ohio State University. August 9, 2021.
  18. ^ Madison, UW (May 13, 2017). "Game Show Contestant Reads This Every Night". Wisc Edu.
  19. ^ "Krishnaswamy Lab on Twitter: @AmodioMatt passed his defense!!". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-03-08.
  20. ^ a b "Who Is Matt Amodio, Jeopardy! Champion?". Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science. August 13, 2021. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  21. ^ Richardson, James (October 15, 2021). "Matt Amodio GRD '23 "Jeopardy!" run comes to an end". Yale Daily News. Yale Daily News Publishing Co., Inc.
  22. ^ Jeopardy champ Matt Amodio appeared on Academic Challenge in 2009 on YouTube
  23. ^ Webb, Craig (July 29, 2021). "Meet Matt Amodio, the Medina High School grad who's won 'Jeopardy' six days and counting". Akron Beacon Journal. Gannett.
  24. ^ "Jeopardy! Contestant Zone: Highest Winnings (Regular-Season Play)". Jeopardy!. August 13, 2021.
  25. ^ "Jeopardy! Contestant Zone: Consecutive Games Won". Jeopardy!. August 13, 2021.
  26. ^ "Jeopardy! Contestant Zone: All-Time Winnings (including tournaments)". Jeopardy!. August 13, 2021.
  27. ^ "Jeopardy! Contestant Zone: Eligible for Next Tournament of Champions". Jeopardy!. August 2, 2021.
  28. ^ Morrison, Heather (October 12, 2021). New England's Matt Amodio lost 'Jeopardy' after 38-game winning streak; became third person to ever win more than $1 million on show. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  29. ^ "26 October 2021". Jeopardy!.
  30. ^ "11 October 2021". Jeopardy!.
  31. ^ Smith, Ryan (October 12, 2021). "Who Is Jonathan Fisher? Meet the Man Who Ended Matt Amodio's 'Jeopardy!' Streak". Newsweek. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  32. ^ "Jeopardy! Champ Jonathan Fisher: I Beat Matt Amodio, I Don't Need To Again". Newsweek. November 1, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  33. ^ Holmes, Martin (November 11, 2022). "'Jeopardy!' Shock as Matt Amodio Loses in Tournament of Champions". TV Insider. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  34. ^ "Who Is Matt Amodio, Jeopardy! Champion?". Yale University. August 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Barrientos, Selena (August 11, 2021). "'Jeopardy!' Star Matt Amodio Just Revealed a Shocking Fact About the Show's Audition Process". Good Housekeeping.
  36. ^ Yahr, Emily (August 11, 2021). "'Jeopardy!' champ Matt Amodio's epic winning streak ends at 38 games and $1.5 million". Washington Post.
  37. ^ a b Elber, Lynn (August 13, 2021). "'Jeopardy!' champ Matt Amodio's analytic style is a winner". Associated Press. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  38. ^ Saunders, Andy (20 September 2021). "Today's Final Jeopardy – Monday, September 20, 2021". The Jeopardy! Fan.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jason Zuffranieri, 2019–2020
Biggest Jeopardy! winners by season
2020–2021 [2]
Succeeded by
Amy Schneider, 2021-2022
  1. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 36. September 25, 2019. Syndication.
  2. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 37. August 13, 2021. Syndication.
  3. ^ Jeopardy!. Season 38. January 26, 2022. Syndication.