There’s been a lot of hubbub—some might go so far as to say “rampant, high-profile stupidity”—surrounding Jeopardy! over the last several months, very little of it focused on the play of the long-running game show itself. But amidst all the scandals, retractions, and general own-foot-shooting that have accompanied the show’s recent hunt for a new Forever Host, a new narrative has quietly emerged, focused on, shock of shocks, the practice of playing Jeopardy!: The show just lodged its third-ever player to break a million dollars in non-tournament play.
Said player? Matt Amodio, whose Jeopardy! bio lists him as “a Ph.D student from New Haven Connecticut,” and whose regular-person bio will forthwith probably lead with “that guy who won a million dollars (and counting) on Jeopardy!” Amodio’s streak began back on July 22, and has now stretched through 28 games, which gives him both a) the third-place record for longest win streak, after James Holzhauer (32 games) and Ken Jennings (74 games), and, b), a tenure significantly longer than any of the guest hosts (except Jennings) who’ve been rotating through the series since Alex Trebek’s death in late 2020. (For the record, Amodio started with LeVar Burton, and has now outlasted David Faber, Joe Buck, and the entirety of Mike Richards’ “official” run as the show’s official host.)
But while Amodio is hot on Holzhauer’s heels in terms of game played, he still has a long way to go if he wants to crack his second-place winnings record ($2,462,216), due in part to Holzhauer (a professional sports gambler, as his bio noted) running a strategy that went hard on big wagers that amplified his winnings considerably. (Holzhauer’s episodes fill out the entirety of the show’s Top 10 ranking of highest wins per episode.)
Jeopardy! posted an interview with Amodio to commemorate his milestone, noting, among other things, his tendency to cross-out correct answers in Final Jeopardy! and replace them with incorrect ones—a habit that might be disastrous for a player who’s not so immensely talented at securing locked games before the final round rolls around. Still, it’s not like he’s engaging in any true self-sabotage; Jeopardy!’s producers remain the undisputed champions in that department.