What Is Matt Amodio? ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Finally Reveals His Controversial ‘What’s’ Strategy

by Thad Mitchell

Reigning “Jeopardy!” champion Matt Amodio keeps rolling right along, collecting yet another win on Tuesday night’s episode.

While he’s already earned himself a spot in the “Jeopardy!” Hall of Fame, he has no intentions of slowing down. Tuesday’s win gives him 25 straight victories, which is good for third place in the game show’s history. Amodio is looking up at only James Holzhauer and Ken Jennings in terms of most consecutive wins. He will go for his 26th straight win tonight against a fresh set of contestants.

While he’s largely won over the enormous “Jeopardy!” fan base, he’s annoyed some others the wrong with his question-answering technique. The champion answers the clue by beginning with the word “What’s” before giving his guess. It isn’t a big deal to most but some “Jeopardy!” purists don’t like it. In a recent interview, Amodio reveals that his answering technique is part of the strategy that’s put him in the record books.

“I went about the approach of saying the fewer things to think about, the better,” he says. “I found the simplest, most repeatable approach I could and went with it.”

It will be interesting to see if any future contestants pick up the strategy in an attempt to win a “Jeopardy!” episode. The competition is one of skill and intellect and past players have admitted to studying the game’s finest players, such as Jennings, Holzhauer and Brad Rutter. Amodio could inadvertently be providing his next adversary with the blueprint to defeat him.

‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Says He Knows the Rules

Despite his unorthodox clue-answering method, Amodio says he is well versed in the rules of the game show. He also notes that he’s watched a lot of “Jeopardy!” in a quest to gain a better understanding of how to play efficiently. His homework certainly seems to be paying off as he collects win after win.

“I have watched a lot of Jeopardy!, and I have seen rulings on individual questions here and there,” he says in a recent post-game chat. “So, I have known from experience what is acceptable and what is not.” 

In addition to his massive winning streak, Amodio is putting up some gaudy numbers in the cash earnings department. With a win tonight (Wednesday) he should break into the $900,000 grounds. He could also top $1 million in total earnings before the week is up — provided he keeps winning.

There’s no reason to believe he won’t keep adding to his already impressive win total. Through his 25 “Jeopardy!” wins, Amodio has been more than dominant and has rarely been challenged by the other contestants. His average margin of victory through his winning streak is above $20,000 and he is correctly answering clues at a rate above 90 percent.

Now, “Jeopardy!” fans want to see just how far Amodio can take it.