For most Jeopardy! contestants, appearing on the show is a check off the old bucket list, and with some luck, a nice little chunk of change. After all, there’s no telling what the next day’s clues might hold. So winning consistently on the game show requires a nearly supernatural ability to recall information, and that’s assuming a contestant learned the information in the first place. For all of that Ph.D.-level info rattling around in Matt Amodio’s brain, he was still defeated after 38 consecutive wins.
Of course, 38 consecutive wins represent the second-longest all-time streak in Jeopardy! history. It just goes to show how difficult stringing together three or four games must be. At 30 years old, Matt Amodio couldn’t have known that he would walk where only one other man had before. But he had the confidence to buck up and give the game show a try.
That’s the thrust of an inspirational message he shared via a Newsweek personal viewpoint piece recently. The Jeopardy! star himself penned an article that summarized his experience with the iconic game show.
“I hope to show that you don’t need to assume other people are capable of things you aren’t. My message to others would be: just give it a try,” wrote Amodio.
Did he know he would become an all-time Jeopardy! great? No. Did he think he’d come out the other side a cool $1.5 million richer? Absolutely not. Matt Amodio simply believed he could compete on the show, and it ended up changing his life.
‘Jeopardy!’ Star Matt Amodio is ‘Happy’ to Be the Unassuming Role Model He’s Become as A Result of His Performance
There was plenty to admire about Matt Amodio before he appeared on Jeopardy! Here’s a young man working and pursuing higher education in a field he loves. But guess what? Not much has changed as far as he’s concerned.
He wrote that he didn’t even plan on touching his winnings. He prefers to stash it away should he ever need it when raising a family. What has changed is how many people look up to Matt for making his academic pursuits a cool thing.
“I’m happy to be a role model as a regular guy who just happens to be smart. To imagine young kids want to be like me is music to my ears. It makes me feel so good. I try to tear down that barrier between what people think they are capable of and what they think others are capable of,” Amodio continued.