42 to Go: ‘Jeopardy!’ Sensation Matt Amodio Climbs to No. 2 on Win List, Only Behind Ken Jennings

by Jonathan Howard

History right before our eyes, folks. Matt Amodio has put himself into second place all-time with 33 wins in Jeopardy! Only Ken Jennings has more. He passed James Holzhauer to claim second place. He needs just another 42 wins in order to take the top spot from Jennings.

While he has yet to reach 40 wins, let alone 42 more, the hype is real behind Amodio. He has dealt with a lot during his run as champion. Various hosts, drama, and controversy. The one constant, Matt Amodio. The champ has made it look easy during his games.

So far, it isn’t just games that Amodio has won. Of course, he has taken home a large sum of money. Right now he has earned over $1.2 million as champion. It pays to know your trivia. At 30-years old, Amodio probably doesn’t have to worry about those student loans. The Ph.D. candidate at Yale has his eyes set on more, though.

He is still third-place in total winnings. Holzhauer took home over $2.4 million in his 32 games. Meanwhile, in his 74 games, Jennings took home just over $2.5 million.

Amodio knows who his predecessors are and reflected on his climb to No. 2.

“Ken’s always been the face of Jeopardy! to me, so when I think of Jeopardy! I think of him. To be right behind him is a surreal experience,” the current champion said.

No matter the subject, viewers have watched Matt Amodio make light work of every category. Science, history, math, art, and more. There isn’t anything he doesn’t know, except who the Jacksonville Jaguars are. That was a funny whiff from a recent episode.

Matt Amodio Explains Jeopardy! Rules to Fans

During his run on the show, there have been some lessons learned for Jeopardy! fans. Not only can you learn about the various categories and topics, but you can learn about show rules as well. Not many viewers think about the rules of the game. Rarely do they ever come up, until recently.

However, since Amodio began his run on the show, it has become a topic of discussion multiple times. One thing that fans have remarked on, the champ says “What’s” versus “What is” or “Who is”. Some thought this might be a rules violation at first, but the show has come out and said he is well within the rules.

Another rule, leading articles. While English and language-minded people will shudder at the rule, leading articles are not necessary for answers. Amodio gave an example.

“What’s Color Purple? and What’s The Color Purple? are considered equivalently correct, because leading articles aren’t required,” the champ explained.

That isn’t going to make a lot of fans too happy. He has surprisingly been a somewhat controversial champion. He keeps on winning and keeps on revealing new rules and lessons. That is a true champ.