The hosts have come and gone — through it all, one New Englander just. Keeps. Winning.
On Friday, the seemingly unstoppable Matt Amodio of New Haven became the third contestant in “Jeopardy!” history to break $1 million in non-tournament play.
The Yale PhD student’s 28th victory on Sept. 24 brings his total earnings to $1,004,001 going into Monday’s game.
Only Ken Jennings, whose 74-game streak yielded $2,520,700, and James Holzhauer, who earned $2,462,216 over the course of 32 victories are ahead of him on the all-time leader board.
“This was beyond my wildest dreams going in,” Amodio, who studies Computer Science at Yale, said in a statement. “I knew it was a possibility, but I thought it was a very remote possibility, and to have it actually happen is unbelievable.”
Amodio’s strategy, similar to Holzhauer, has been to go for the big money questions early. He has a knack for finding the Daily Doubles, and when he does, he usually makes it a “true Daily Double” — a.k.a. betting it all. And perhaps most remarkable: Amodio has kept his head in the game, no matter who’s at the podium — and he’s seen a few hosts come and go, at this point.
Despite critics coming at Amodio for his use of “what’s” in all responses — i.e. ringing in with “What’s Tom Hanks” or “What’s Eva Longoria” — he’s unflappable. Of that strategy, he told Jeopardy, “I found the simplest, most repeatable approach I could and went with it.”
Tune in Monday to watch Amodio try for win no. 29.