Matt Amodio kept his “Jeopardy!” hot streak alive Friday — reaching another milestone on the game show with his 33rd victory. That put him in second place on the all-time consecutive wins list after only Ken Jennings, who holds the record at 74.
In notching win No. 33, Amodio topped 2019 breakout champion James Holzhauer. The 30-year-old Amodio’s total cash winnings currently stand at $1,267,801. Since first appearing on the show’s July 21 episode, he has answered more than 1,000 clues correctly.
Amodio, a fifth-year computer science Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, is only the third person in the show’s history to earn more than $1 million in regular-season play. He’s still well behind Holzhauer ($2,464,216 in total winnings) and Ken Jennings ($2,522,700).
“Ken’s always been the face of ‘Jeopardy!’ to me, so when I think of ‘Jeopardy!,’ I think of him,” Amodio said in a statement when asked about Jennings. “To [be] right behind him is a surreal experience.”
Over the course of his appearance on the show, Amodio has displayed a wide breadth of knowledge on subjects spanning history, literature, arts and entertainment, science, geography and more. He’s become a fan favorite for his humble demeanor and wry sense of humor (notwithstanding his habit of saying “what’s” in his responses with people’s names when, grammatically, he should be saying “who’s”).
In Friday’s episode, Amodio won $55,400 after he got all three Double Jeopardy squares (getting two of them correct) and provided the correct question in Final Jeopardy. As has often been the case during Amodio’s run, the game was a runaway: The two other contestants went into Final Jeopardy trailing the cash total of the reigning champ by a wide margin.
Last week, Holzhauer, a professional sports gambler, threw some shade after Amodio’s 23rd win. “When you order something online vs. when it arrives,” he snarked in a tweet, with side-by-side pics showing their respective total cash winnings after 23 wins — Holzhauer at $1,780,237, more than double Amodio’s $825,801 at that point. Amodio responded, “I thought these memes were supposed to have the more attractive person on the left.”
When you order something online vs. when it arrives pic.twitter.com/AFE2zdA4KA
— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) September 20, 2021
Sony Pictures TV-produced “Jeopardy!”, now in its 38th season of syndication, is currently hosted by Mayim Bialik. Sony said Bialik and Ken 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.
In August, former “Jeopardy!” executive producer Mike Richards had been named host, before he stepped down nine days later after insensitive comments that he made on a past podcast resurfaced along with two previous discrimination lawsuits from his time as EP of “The Price Is Right.” Sony subsequently fired Richards.