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Huge upset — on Jeopardy! Matt Amodio earns $1.5 million in 38 days, but falls on “Austria”

… brilliant PhD student is finally derailed

He appeared to be unstoppable, but two competitors finally stopped the third-leading money winner ever on Jeopardy!

The best part of Matt Amodio’s performance was the he erased the negativism that had emerged after the brouhaha of Mike Richards, who was selected to replace Alex Trebek but was relegated to the sidelines after his writings became public.

Amodio won 38 consecutive games, earning $1.518 million in the process. He is a PhD candidate in computer science at Yale.


Amodio fell in Double Jeopardy, but it would not have mattered since the two other contestants were ahead of him and both answered the question correctly,

Matt Amodio finally lost on “Jeopardy!”, bringing to a close the Yale Ph.D. student’s 38-game run on the popular syndicated game show.

Fan-favorite Amodio lost in Monday’s episode after he failed to provide the correct response in Final Jeopardy. He finished his “Jeopardy!” streak in the No. 2 spot on the all-time consecutive wins rankings behind only Ken Jennings (74 wins).

Amodio leaves the show with total cash winnings of $1,518,601, putting him in third place for regular-season play behind Jennings ($2,520,700) and pro sports gambler James Holzhauer ($2,462,216).

Amodio is slated to return for the next “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions series.

“I always wanted to be a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, and I accomplished that,” Amodio said in a statement. “l know going into every bar trivia game that I play that I’m going to come in with a little intimidation factor. But also, I just like the badge that it represents. As somebody who prioritizes knowledge and knowing things, this is really a good one to have following me everywhere.”

Amodio, 30, is a fifth-year computer science doctoral candidate at Yale. The end of the road for him on “Jeopardy!” (for now) came down to the Final Jeopardy clue: “Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps and the Danube; the Allies later divided it into four sectors.” The correct response was, “What is Austria?” (Amodio’s incorrect response was Poland.)

Todd Spangler, “Matt Amodio loses on Jeopardy!, ending historic

winning streak,” Variety, October 13, 2021

Two others beat him

The eventual champion won by just $411 dollars,

The contestant who dethroned Amodio was Jonathan Fisher, an actor originally from Coral Gables, Fla., who finished with a winning total of $29,200. Fisher edged out Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Nashville, Tenn., who had the lead at various points in the game but ended in second place with $28,799. Amodio came in third with $5,600.

“Jeopardy!”, produced by Sony Pictures Television, is in its 38th season of syndication. Current host Mayim Bialik presided over the end of Amodio’s historic appearance on on the show. Sony said Bialik and Jennings will be the hosts of “Jeopardy!” for the rest of the year as the studio searches for a permanent host to replace the late Alex Trebek.

Todd Spangler, Variety, October 13, 2021

Did he throw the game?

Well, Matt was not as sharp as he usually was, but the other two were simply great. However, some who realized during the game that Matt was not going to win thought that he blew it.

One said that he threw it with his final answer, but the truth is that even with a correct answer, he would have lost,

At the start of Monday's show, Matt was in the lead, answering clues with his signature “what’s” starter format, but halfway through the game, the Yale graduate student began faltering behind fellow contestants Jonathan Fisher and Jessica Stephens.

With Jeopardy!’s latest episode quickly coming to an end, fans online began realizing that Matt wouldn’t be named the champion, and this was the last time they would be watching him play during the season. Needless to say, after tuning in week after week, Jeopardy! fans had a mix of emotions about this unexpected turn of events.

On one hand, some were in disbelief that Matt didn’t know the Final Jeopardy answer, and even accused him of throwing the game. “There is no way Matt didn’t know that final Jeopardy question. He chose to end his streak,” said one fan.

“@AmodioMatt totally threw this game. Hate to see him go! Not to take away from the new champ, but there’s no way Matt was all in today,” said another. “I'm shocked that Matt Amodio didn't get the correct Final Jeopardy answer. Even I knew it was 'Austria'!” added one person.

Selena Barrientos, “ ‘Jeopardy!’ fans in utter shock as Matt Amodio loses his 39th game, ending historic streak,” Good Housekeeping, October 11,


The best part for me is that I started watching it every day again, albeit on YouTube.

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