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As the late sportscaster Don Meredith once sang on a Monday night long ago, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over!”
And on another Monday night — October 11, 2021 — the “party” was over for the now-former “Jeopardy!” champion Matt Amodio. The Yale Ph.D student’s 38-game win streak concluded, placing third to actor Jonathan Fisher and statistical research assistant Jessica Stephens by game’s end.
Throughout his run, Amodio dominated his competition and earned $1,519,601. He achieved the second longest winning streak in “Jeopardy!” history (Ken Jennings had 74 in 2004), and the third-largest winnings ever in regular games (Jennings and 2019’s James Holzhauer each earned over $2.4 million).
Following the first round in the Oct. 11, 2021 episode, Amodio had only a slight lead over his fellow two competitors which led host Mayim Bialik to comment, “I have to say, within the context of Matt Amodio’s winning streak, this is one of our closer games.”
In the Double Jeopardy round, Amodio fell behind Fisher and Stephens, as they both correctly answered and completed categories such as “Medical Abbreviations” and “Recent Movies.” The two Daily Doubles in the round, a key factor in Amodio’s previous victories, were both discovered by Fisher; he’d be in first place after correctly answering his second Daily Double.
For the first time in his 39 appearances on the show, Amodio went into Final Jeopardy in third place.
Final Jeopardy! 10/11/21 Plus Exclusive Overheard On Set Clip
The category was “Countries of the World” and the final clue was, “Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps and the Danube: the Allies later divided it into four sectors.”
Amodio incorrectly answered, “What is Poland?” It cost him $5,000 and left him with $5,600. Stephens and Fisher both correctly answered “What is Austria?” Stephens finished in second with $28,799 and Fisher became the new champion with $29,200.
“I’m at the store and people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, Matt,’ and I’m really bad at remembering both names and faces of people,” Amodio told Bialik during the player interviews. “And so I always rack my brains and say, ‘Do I know you?’ I used to be able to assume that if they know me, I know them, but not anymore.”
Matt Amodio Reflects On His Jeopardy! Streak