clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

A big era of ‘Jeopardy!’ is over

Going into Monday night’s game, Amodio had 38 wins under his belt — the closest anyone has come to nearing Ken Jennings’ legendary 74-game winning streak 17 years ago

Matt Amodio on the set of “Jeopardy!”
Matt Amodio won 38 games before his winning streak on “Jeopardy!” came to an end Monday night.
Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

The Matt Amodio era of “Jeopardy!” is over.

Matt Amodio ‘Jeopardy!” winning streak is over

Going into Monday night’s game, Amodio had 38 wins under his belt — the closest anyone has come to nearing Ken Jennings’ legendary 74-game winning streak 17 years ago.

In a rare moment for Amodio — who often obliterated his competition due to his prowess on the buzzer and large wagers — it was anyone’s game going into the Final Jeopardy round Monday night: Only $4,000 separated the third-place finisher from first place.

“Jeopardy!” host Mayim Bialik noted that for the first time in his 39 appearances on the quiz show, Amodio — a 30-year-old doctoral student at Yale University — was in third with $10,600.

Jonathan Fisher, an actor from Florida, led with $14,600; and Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Nashville, had $14,400.

It all came down to Final Jeopardy.

The clue: “Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps & the Danube; the Allies later divided it into four sectors.” (Answer at the very bottom)

Amodio was the only contestant who didn’t come up with the correct response, and the game ultimately ended up being a nailbiter between Fisher and Stephens; wagering his entire $14,600 on the clue, Fisher edged out Stephens by a small margin of $401.

And just like that, “Jeopardy!” had a new champion.

“Everybody’s so smart and so competent that this could happen any game,” Amodio said in a news release sent to the Deseret News. “And this time it did.”


How much money did Matt Amodio win on ‘Jeopardy!’?

With 38 victories, Amodio accrued $1,518,601 — only the third person in “Jeopardy!” history to win more than a million dollars during the regular season, the Deseret News reported. The “Jeopardy!” star, who grew up in Medina, Ohio, recently said he still hadn’t processed how much money he won.

“I guess eventually it will start to sink in, but as of now, I still feel like a Ph.D. student with a small stipend,” Amodio wrote in a column for Newsweek, noting that he was fairly frugal and had “zero plans” to spend his earnings.

“The air conditioning in my car has been broken for six or seven years and I’m finally going to use this money to fix it,” he wrote. “That’s probably it.”


Will Matt Amodio return to ‘Jeopardy!’?

Although his stint on “Jeopardy!” is over, Amodio will return to the show to compete in the next Tournament of Champions, according to a news release.

For the “Jeopardy!” star, who grew up watching the quiz show with his parents, it is surreal to now hold multiple spots in the show’s Hall of Fame. But it’s the first victory that meant the most.

“I wanted to win one game,” Amodio previously told Vulture. “Once you win, you’re a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion. ... That’s something nobody can take away from you. You might lose the next game, or you might lose 71 games later if you’re Ken Jennings. You’re going to lose eventually. But that never takes away from the descriptor. I wanted to have that under my belt.

“I don’t think anything has surpassed that moment winning the first game.”

(Answer: Austria)