7-Game ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Matt Amodio Says His Strategy is Just ‘Do Whatever Ken Jennings Does’

by Quentin Blount

Matt Amodio has put together a pretty impressive streak over the past seven games on the popular game show, Jeopardy!. Altogether, he has racked up a total of $291,200 — a total that makes him one of the top-10 most winningest Jeopardy! players ever.

A 30-year-old Ph.D. student at Yale University, there’s no denying that Amodio is a smart man. He recently sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly. In doing so, Amodio made comments about something we have all been wondering about. And that is what his strategy has been when it comes to the actual Jeopardy! gameplay.

“I think that my strategy going in was watch Ken [Jennings], and try to do whatever Ken does,” Amodio said. “He’s done TED talks, he does podcasts, and he drops a little bit of knowledge here and there.”

Not a bad plan, right? After all, Ken Jennings is an absolute legend when it comes to Jeopardy!. He’s also the second-most winningest player in Jeopardy! history. Amodio gave fans an inside scoop on one thing, in particular, Ken Jennings did during his competing days that he wanted to emulate.

“When I was trying to get in on the buzzer I would just listen to the cadence of the voice and try and view it like a musical meter and get the rhythm and stuff.”

“So, I would just take any notes I could from him.”

Ken Jennings Not the Only ‘Jeopardy!’ Legend That Amodio Takes Notes From

Like the other big-time Jeopardy! names before him, Matt Amodio grew up while watching the popular show. That in itself is a common theme that many Jeopardy! contestants share. But it is most definitely not an end-all-be-all. As a matter of fact, there is a lot of hard work and preparation that goes into becoming one of the best game show contestants in the world. And that is something that Amodio does not take lightly.

He explained as much when discussing his strategy to prepare for the show. Not only does he watch film on Ken Jennings, but he also studies another one of the best players in Jeopardy! history — James Holzhauer.

“And then also, James [Holzhauer] brought in a lot of probability-based analysis in terms of which clue selection to do,” Amodio explained. “I just remembered how they did it, and I’m hoping that I’m initiating it as best as I can.”

Matt Amodio says that he is hoping to imitate Jennings and Holzhauer the best he can. And so far, so good on that strategy. Amodio has already put his name in Jeopardy! history books and he’s looking to keep adding to it.

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