Speed Reads

what was a great run?

Matt Amodio's stunning Jeopardy! streak finally ends after 38 wins

We'll take "all good things must come to an end" for $1,000. 

Matt Amodio, a PhD student who has been on a historic Jeopardy! run, was finally defeated on Monday's episode, ending his streak after 38 wins. Contestant Jonathan Fisher was victorious, while Amodio came in third place. 

It was a shocking outcome after Amodio for weeks seemed virtually unbeatable, often building up such a large lead by the end of the game that no player could catch him. His strategy involved starting with the highest value clues and hunting for Daily Doubles to quickly increase his score, but he failed to find any of the three Daily Doubles during Monday's game.  

"Everybody's so smart and so competent that this could happen any game," Amodio said. "And this time it did."

But Amodio has earned himself a place in the game show history books. He recently passed James Holzhauer as the player with the second-longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history, behind only Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in 2004. In an interview for the show's YouTube channel, Amodio said being right behind Jennings, the "face of Jeopardy!," in consecutive games won was "surreal." Amodio is also one of only three players to have won more than $1 million on Jeopardy! in regular-season play, with the others being Holzhauer and Jennings. He leaves the show with $1,518,601, behind Holzhauer's $2,462,216 and Jennings' $2,520,700. 

Amodio's streak couldn't have come at a better time for Jeopardy!, as he provided viewers with a consistent presence amid the show's host search debacle. The new full-time Jeopardy! host still hasn't been named, though Mayim Bialik is currently behind the lectern, and she'll share hosting duties with Jennings through the end of 2021. Unfortunately, Amodio's loss came prior to the start of Jennings' second stint as host, so it seems the sight of these two Jeopardy! legends sharing the stage just wasn't meant to be.