Though recent months have been filled with controversy and drama for Jeopardy! it was the run of Matt Amodio that brought new life to the syndicated game show. As fans and critics spoke out about its hosting crisis, Amodio cruised to victories reminiscent of James Holzhauer, putting up big numbers on his way to more than $1 million in earnings.
But Amodio’s historic run on Jeopardy! came to an end on Monday when the Ph. D student from New England lost to a newcomer after struggling in the Double Jeopardy round. Amodio’s 38-game winning streak has featured many of the same qualities that past mega-champions have replicated: getting out to big leads early, hitting on Daily Doubles to expand that lead and making Final Jeopardy an afterthought because they simply couldn’t be caught.
But on Monday’s episode, newcomers Jonathan and Jessica made life on stage much tougher for Amodio than he’d seen in recent weeks. Though he had his usual lead after the Jeopardy round, Jonathan found both Daily Doubles back-to-back (getting all three on the day). And though he got the first one wrong and lost $2,000, he took the lead with the third Daily Double and didn’t look back.
Headed into Final Jeopardy, Amodio was trailing ($10,600) compared to Jonathan’s $14,600 and Jessica’s $14,400. Needing both contestants to ultimately get the question wrong, Jonathan actually wagered everything and got it right, doubling his total and dethroning Matt as the new Jeopardy! champion.
Amodio’s run finishes with $1,518,601 in winnings, good for third all-time. His 38 day win total is second in the show’s history behind Ken Jennings.