With a bankroll of more than $1.5 million, Matt Amodio’s reign as “Jeopardy” champion came to an end at 38 games during Monday’s pretaped episode.
Amodio, whom the popular quiz show’s audience first met on July 21, finished in third place after wowing viewers for nearly three months with his broad knowledge and penchant for making it a “true Daily Double.”
“Everybody’s so smart and so competent that this could happen any game. And this time it did,” the Yale computer science Ph.D. student and Ohio native said in a statement following his loss.
Amodio, who finished No. 2 on the all-time consecutive wins list behind only Ken Jennings with 74 wins, was bested by Jonathan Fisher, an actor originally from Coral Gables, Florida. Meanwhile, statistical research specialist Jessica Stephens of Nashville placed second in Monday’s show.
In addition to trailing both competitors as the trio entered Monday’s final round, Amodio missed the Final Jeopardy clue and finished with only $5,600, compared with Fisher’s $29,200 and Stephens’ $28,799, The New York Times reported. (The clue: Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps and the Danube; the Allies later divided it into four sectors. The correct response: “What is Austria?”)
In a phone interview with The Washington Post, Amodio said that his final episode was taped in mid-September, following a scheduled break of several weeks.
“I got off to an early good start, but Double Jeopardy! went terribly for me. I was pretty soundly defeated,” Amodio told the newspaper.
“It was weird because in previous games, there were stretches where I lost the timing of the buzzer, but it was early enough in the games where the dollar values weren’t so high that I couldn’t recover later. … It had never been that long a stretch during a crucial point of time in the game,” he added.
Amodio, 30, amassed a total of $1,518,601 during his streak, which puts him third on the all-time non-tournament cash winnings list behind only James Holzhauer with $2,462,216 and Jennings with $2,520,700.
“I’m going to be hiring an accountant,” he told the Post, adding, “I’ve always used TurboTax and filed a very simple return, but now things will get a little complicated.”
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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