‘Jeopardy!’: Why There’s Been So Many Long-Running Champs This Season

by Madison Miller

It’s been the year of “Jeopardy!”

From super-contestants to all the drama related to finding the next big host of the long-running trivia show, there has been no shortage of media coverage.

At this point, it’s becoming difficult to keep track of all the amazing competitors that have appeared on “Jeopardy!” over the course of this last year. There must be something in the water because there are definitely a lot more stand-out competitors than in previous years.

The show is no stranger to incredibly intelligent and well-performing people. That includes past contestants like Mr. Jeopardy himself, Ken Jennings. That would also include others well-known from the show like Brad Rutter or James Holzhauer. This year, we’ve had years worth of super competitors seemingly shoved into one season.

From Matt Amodio to Jonathan Fisher to now Amy Schneider, contestants are coming to take it all. Amodio has the second-longest winning streak in show history, with a total of 38 games under his belt. He was defeated by Jonathan Fisher, who immediately started his own winning streak. He won 11 games and was defeated by Nancy Donehower. Eventually, Tyler Rhode showed up to win four games. Andrew He won an impressive five games. Then, Amy Schneider showed up.

Schneider has now won a total of 26 consecutive games. This means she has the fourth-longest streak in show history. Now, five contestants also have a spot in the Tournament of Champions. You need four wins to be eligible, but five guarantees a spot. This will by far be the most exciting Tournament of Champions to date.

The Increase in the ‘Jeopardy!’ Super Champion

Even Ken Jennings agrees that Season 38 of the show has been unlike anything “Jeopardy!” fans have ever seen. “Season 38 has certainly been the season of the super-champions,” he said while hosting the show.

According to The Ringer, this many high-stakes players have caused many people to turn their heads in confusion. In Season 37, there were very few streaks happening. At one point, there were 88 consecutive episodes in which a player never hit four wins in a row. Many people blame the fact that there was a constant rotation of guest hosts as the reason for this extreme dry spell.

The news outlet claims that the longer tape days, including delays and retaping, definitely had the potential to disrupt a rhythm and cadence contestants developed. That certainly didn’t impact Matt Amodio, though. He had several hosts, but still went on to have a record-breaking time on “Jeopardy!”

Another factor in more “super contestants” is an increase in overall applicants. Over the past two years, the show has had far more applicants. This increases the chances of finding these all-star competitors. The show also introduced the Anytime Test in 2020, which allowed people to take that online exam whenever they wanted instead of during that annual deadline previously in place. The convenience of an Anytime Test led to more hopeful candidates.

Those hopeful candidates turned out to be the Matt Amodios, Jonathan Fishers, Amy Schneiders, and Sam Buttreys of the world.