What is ... Jeopardy! history?
Jeopardy! champion Matt Amodio, a PhD student, continued his dominant run Friday by pulling off a feat only two other players have in the quiz show's history: winning more than $1 million during regular-season play.
After another big victory during his latest game, Amodio has now won a total of $1,004,001 during his 28-day run on the show. In the history of Jeopardy!, only two other players have won more than $1 million, not counting money earned in tournaments: James Holzhauer, who won $2,462,216 in 2019, and Ken Jennings, who won $2,520,700 in 2004. Brad Rutter has also won a total of $4,938,436 on Jeopardy!, making him the top-earning player ever, but this includes money from tournaments.
Amodio had already made plenty of history on Jeopardy! in recent weeks. Since August, he has been the third-highest earning player ever in regular-season play, and he's also ranked third in most consecutive games won behind only Holzhauer, who won 32 straight games, and Jennings, who won 74 straight games. His historic run comes amid a tumultuous time for the show, which has still yet to announce a permanent daily host after executive producer Mike Richards resigned from that position amid controversy over a resurfaced podcast. Mayim Bialik has since stepped behind the lectern. Still, Amodio told The Washington Post, "Frankly, the last thing I'm thinking about when I'm in the middle of a game is who's hosting."
Amodio has a chance to make history again soon, as he's just five wins away from passing Holzhauer's famous 32-day winning streak and becoming the second-highest ranked player ever in consecutive games won behind Jennings. And if he keeps the winning streak going through November, the show may find itself with not one, but two Jeopardy! legends on stage at one time, as Jennings himself is set to start guest hosting later this year.