‘Jeopardy!’ 7-Game Champ Matt Amodio Nearly Didn’t Try Out for Show: Here’s Why

by Thad Mitchell

With a lengthy winning streak in progress, reigning “Jeopardy!” champion Matt Amodio is picking up recognition amongst the show’s fans.

Amodio has now won seven straight “Jeopardy!” matches and is looking for more victories this week. During his seven-episode winning streak, Amodio has racked more than $120,000. He’s also become popular amongst the loyal “Jeopardy!” fan base for his dominating wins. A red hot champion riding a winning streak is one of the most thrilling things that can happen in the game show world.

It certainly makes for great television as fans will tune in to see how he can keep the streak alive. With only a single-digit number of wins, Amodio already ranks among the top 10 earners to appear on the show. It is a list that includes the likes of Ken Jennings, Buzzy Cohen and Brad Rutter. Not bad company to keep for a game show contestant who says he models his game after Jennings.

Away from the “Jeopardy!” set, Amodio is a student at a prestigious Ivy League school with his eyes on a doctorate. He attends Yale University where he is studying computer science. Amodio has noted that appearing on “Jeopardy!” has been a life-long dream of his. Amodio also noted that he grew up a huge fan of the show. He hails from New Haven, Connecticut, and plans on doing his very best to extend his already impressive winning streak.

‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Gets Encouragement From Father

But Amodio’s triumphant winning streak almost did not come to pass as he struggled with the decision to appear on the quiz show. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Amodio admits he was unsure at first if he wanted to try out for the show. He also says it was his father who provided guidance in choosing to participate in “Jeopardy!”

“I was only reluctantly trying out because I didn’t think I would make it, and even if I did make it I wouldn’t be very good,” Amodio says. “I only tried out at the behest of my dad, who insisted, as any parent would, ‘My son is awesome. He would do so well.’ And so I said ‘Fine, I’ll do it for you.'”

His father was right all along as his son is quickly becoming a household name amongst game show fans. This week, Amodio will have a brand new celebrity guest host reading him “Jeopardy!” clues. Journalist and television broadcaster David Faber is next in line to stand behind the iconic lectern. It will be the third celebrity guest host that Amodio has played for. He has already seen Robin Roberts and LeVar Burton behind the podium and he hopes to keep his streak alive with Faber.

Amodio will be taking on fresh competition during Faber’s first appearance which is set for tomorrow (Monday).