‘Jeopardy!’ Clarifies Rules As Fans Critique Contestant Matt Amodio’s Play Style

by Jennifer Shea

After a contestant’s approach to answering clues provoked an uproar among “Jeopardy!” fans, the game show is setting the record straight on “Jeopardy!” rules.

Matt Amodio has now won eight games in a row on “Jeopardy!,” and the New Haven, Connecticut PhD student has done it by answering all clues with the formulation, “What is…”. That’s even when the subject is a person, not a thing.

“What’s up with Matt Amodio? A lot of ‘whats’ in his responses – and that’s totally acceptable!” the game show tweeted on Monday.

‘Jeopardy!’ Says Its Rules Are Clear

As the game show explains it, the rules are clear and simple. All contestants must buzz in and phrase their responses in the form of a question.

It does not have to be a grammatically correct question. It just has to be a question. Over the years, “Jeopardy!” has even accepted responses beginning with, “Is it…?”

The question formulation began with “Jeopardy!” creator Merv Griffin’s wife Julann, who suggested making the game show stand out by giving contestants the answers and having them guess the question, instead of the other way around. (For example, Griffin claimed she said to him, “5,280.” He responded, “How many feet are in a mile?”)

Contestants are given gentle reminders for phrasing their responses incorrectly during the Jeopardy! round. During Double Jeopardy!, incorrectly phrased responses are thrown out.

Amodio Hits Back After Fans Dub Him Annoying

While Amodio’s phrasing is well within “Jeopardy!” rules, some fans of the game show have really bristled at his formulation, nonetheless. And many of them took to Twitter to declare Amodio “the most annoying contestant” ever.

“I’m so annoyed by Matt Amodio’s improper posing of the questions that I can’t even enjoy the show,” one fan griped, for example.

On Saturday, Amodio took to social media to fire back at his critics.

“If you would enjoy watching a ‘Jeopardy!’ game with 100 percent less me, a reminder: check your local listing for some awesome weekend re-runs!” Amodio tweeted.

Amodio drew plenty of support in the replies to his tweet, with fans telling him to “ignore the haters” and “please never ever leave the show.”

With eight wins to his credit, Amodio shows no signs of going anywhere. He’s already joined the top ten highest-winning contestants of all time. And now that “Jeopardy!” has blessed his phrasing, who knows how many more wins he has left in him?