His 38-game streak concluded Monday when the Yale computer science Ph.D. student and Ohio native came in third place. Jonathan Fisher, an actor hailing from Coral Gables, Florida, bested Amodio and competitor Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist residing in Nashville.
“Everybody’s so smart and so competent that this could happen any game. And this time it did,” Amodio said in a statement following his loss.
At the first commercial break, Amodio sat comfortably with $7,400; Stephens and Fisher trailed with $2,200 and $1,200 respectively. Fisher started to gain on the champ when a Daily Double took him to $3,200. After the first round, Amodio still led the pack with $9,800, but his lead was thinning. Fisher had earned $4,000 and Stephens had accumulated a $2,400 pot.
“I have to say, within the context of Matt Amodio’s winning streak, this is one of our closer games,” host Mayim Bialik remarked.
He fell behind in the second round and went into Final “Jeopardy!” in last place with $10,600. Stephens, with $14,400, closely trailed Fisher, who’d racked up $14,600.
Amodio‘s earnings further diminished when he incorrectly answered this Countries of the World clue: “Nazi Germany annexed this nation & divided it into regions of the Alps & the Danube; the Allies later divided it into 4 sectors.”
The champ’s submission of Poland cost him $5,000 and dropped his total to $5,600. Stephens correctly answered Austria, which bumped her to $28,799. Fisher also knew the answer, and his all-in wager took him to $29,200, making him the day’s winner.
“It has been an honor and a pleasure to watch you here,” said Bialik, congratulating Amodio on his success before addressing viewers. “What a way to start the week!”
“I always wanted to be a ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, and I accomplished that,” Amodio said in his 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’s 38-game streak and winnings of $1,518,601 have solidified his place in the “Jeopardy!” Hall of Fame (at least for now.)
On Oct. 1, Amodio topped aggressive wagerer James Holzhauer’s consecutive wins with his 33rd victory. He follows only GOAT Ken Jennings, the winner of 74 consecutive games. Amodio follows Jennings and Holzhauer in highest earnings of regular season play, a list Jennings tops with $2,520,700. Holzhauer trails about $60,000 with $2,462,216 in regular play winnings. Amodio sits in fourth place among highest all-time winnings, which includes tournament play – behind Brad Rutter ($4,938,426), Jennings ($4,370,700) and Holzhauer ($2,962,216). Amodio will have a chance to narrow those margins when he returns for the next Tournament of Champions.