Matt Amodio passed another milestone on “Jeopardy!”
The reigning champion on the popular television quiz show won his 33rd consecutive game on Friday, passing James Holzhauer to move into second place on the all-time list, The New York Times reported.
Amodio, 30, a Yale Ph.D. student in computer science, now trails only Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in 2004.
Amodio’s victory brought him to $1.267,801 million, but he has a long way to go to become No. 1 in overall earnings. Jennings won $2,520,700 and Holzhauer, a Las Vegas professional sports bettor, took home $2,462,216 in 2019.
On Friday, host Mayim Bialik noted the potential milestone before starting the game, telling the audience, “Will it be Matt celebrating this weekend, or one of our new challengers?”
Amodio, a fifth-year student at Yale, researches artificial intelligence. He said that he has been watching “Jeopardy!” since before he was “even able to understand the words,” according to a profile in Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Because the game show is taped ahead of time, Amodio and Bialik already knew what was going to happen.
On Friday, Amodio faced two other graduate students, USA Today reported: Thomas Dai, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Samantha Wells of Urbana, Illinois. Amodio led by $10,400 after the first round and had $35,400 entering the Final Jeopardy round, the newspaper reported. That was three times as much as Wells, who was runner-up heading into the final question.
Amodio bet $20,000 in Final Jeopardy and correctly answered the question: “The April 26, 1906 edition of The Call, a newspaper in this city, reported on the heroic death of hoseman James O’Neil.” The answer was San Francisco, and Amodio, the only one of three contestants to correctly answer the question, brought his daily earnings to $55,400, USA Today reported.
Amodio said in a news release that it was “surreal” to be beside Jennings in the hall of fame, the Times reported. On Twitter, Amodio wrote that Holzhauer is better than him “in literally every way.”
“Ken’s always been the face of ‘Jeopardy!’ to me, so when I think of ‘Jeopardy!’, I think of him,” Amodio said in the release. “To (be) right behind him is a surreal experience.”
Holzhauer congratulated Amodio, using a sports betting analogy to put the milestone in perspective.
“It’s like hitting a 33-game parlay in sports betting, and there’s a reason you never see anyone do that,” Holzhauer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal via email. “Something or someone always trips you up eventually.”
Holzhauer made a similar comment on Twitter, noting that it was the first time he had ever seen anyone “hit a 33-game parlay.”
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