Current Jeopardy! champion Matt Amodio is already among the Top 10 winningest players in the game show’s history, but he’s “hungry” for more.
The contestant’s win streak is now up to seven in a row, and he’s banked $268,800 during that time. The Ph.D. student, who lives in New Haven, Connecticut, is already ranked ninth on Jeopardy!‘s highest-earning contestants list.
Therefore the reigning Jeopardy! champion is already in rare territory as he creeps up on a double-digit win streak. Yet he didn’t necessarily go into the game show thinking about winning multiple times. Amodio figured if he won a single episode that he’d be thrilled. However, as the contestant said, he’s not one to rest on his laurels.
“I go in on the first day, and I say, ‘I hope it goes well. But if I win a single game, I’m going to be as delighted as can be.’ And I won, but my attitude is to tend to be hungry,” Amodio explained to Entertainment Weekly recently. “And so once I won one, I wasn’t sitting on my laurels or anything. I said, ‘You know, that was good. Let’s do it again.'”
The popular game show records numerous episodes per day of taping. Amodio called it a “dream” to be a returning champion on the show. He seems genuinely in awe of his win streak, but is eager to keep that streak alive on Monday night’s episode.
“I went into a full day of taping saying, ‘This is just the dream. I can’t believe I have the opportunity to do this.’ And to get the opportunity to come back as a returning champion was just astounding to me. Each step of the way, I was just kind of amazed that it kept going,” the Jeopardy! champion added.
‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Says Contestants Spend ‘Little Time’ with ‘Anybody’ from Show
During the same interview, Amodio opened up about his time off-camera on the famous game show. While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he revealed that the contestants are somewhat isolated from the staff and hosts of the show.
Amodio would know since he’s now participated in seven tapings and is looking to continue his streak tomorrow. Yet Amodio takes the separation positively, and says it helps build camaraderie between the players.
“Also, one thing I did not know going in is the camaraderie that the contestants get, because we actually spend relatively little time with anybody from the show. Most of our time, we’re just amongst ourselves,” Matt Amodio shared.
He joked that the atmosphere is like children in the same place who aren’t familiar with one another. They’re forced to be in the same rooms together, so they eventually bond and become friends.
“And so it’s kind of like that classroom atmosphere where you just put a bunch of kids who don’t know each other together. And eventually they form friendships,” Amodio continued. “I see these other people on TV, and even though I just met them that one day, they feel like old friends now,” he also said.