Event though Jeopardy! champion Matt Amodio is on a historic win streak right now, if a couple things went differently in his debut, he may not have won a single episode.
The Yale graduate student is now tied for the third-most wins in the history of the game show. As of Tuesday night’s episode, Amodio has now won 20 games in a row dating back to last season. While it’s an impressive streak indeed, he has a long way to go to catch first place. That title goes to Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings whose 74-game win streak in 2004 still stands.
However, Matt Amodio’s winning streak nearly stopped in his first episode before it even began. First off, the current champ trailed another contestant at the midpoint of “Double Jeopardy!.” During the second half of his first appearance, Amodio trailed by thousands. He had $7,400 while contestant Josh had $18,200. In addition, both of the “Daily Doubles” was already off the board. But Amodio went on a tear and fought his way back into the game.
Matt Amodio’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Streak Began With a Little Luck
Headed into the last clue before “Final Jeopardy!,” Matt and Josh were tied up. Ironically, the last clue was a first-row $400 box. Usually, first row clues are much easier to answer, but Josh struggled with this one. The clue: “This composer’s EGOT includes Tonys for ‘Evita’, ‘Cats’ & ‘Sunset Boulevard.'”
Josh rang in and answered, “Who is Sondheim?” The answer was incorrect, and should’ve been, “Who is Andrew Lloyd Webber?” Amodio didn’t even ring in now that he had the advantage with Josh dropping down $400. Right after that, the end-of-round signal went off, which brought the regular rounds to a close. Amodio went into “Final Jeopardy!” with a small lead, but that’s all he needed.
In the final round, both men ended up answering a clue about African Monarchs correctly. Therefore it came down to the wagers placed. Josh sat at $19,800 and only trailed by $400 like mentioned. He answered correctly, but only bet $5,005 to bring his grand total to $24,805. A solid Jeopardy! effort, but he should’ve been more aggressive with his wager.
Amodio also answered correctly, but he went big with his wager. The reigning champ went all-in with his bet of $20,200 when he wagered every penny he earned. Yet it paid off in the end and he doubled his earnings to $40,400 for a late but dominant victory.
Matt Amodio’s historic win streak had officially begun, but just barely. Had Josh not missed that final regular round question, Jeopardy! history could’ve been very different. Who knows how that impacted his final round wager? At a minimum, Amodio definitely had luck on his side during his debut episode.