‘Jeopardy!’: Matt Amodio Was Worried He Wasn’t ‘Interesting’ Enough for the Show

by Thad Mitchell
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The long reign of “Jeopardy!” champion Matt Amodio came to a shocking conclusion earlier this week but fans are still talking about what he accomplished.

Amodio, a 30-year-old Ivy League Doctoral student, will forever live in game show lore for his time on the popular program. He made his way into the “Jeopardy!” record books by winning 38 straight games, beginning earlier this year. That number of consecutive victories puts him in second place behind only the legendary Ken Jennings. Widely regarded as the most successful game show contestant ever, Ken Jennings famously rattled off 74 straight wins in 2004.

While Amodio came up short in attempting to catch Jennings, he made a lasting impression on the show’s massive fan base. In addition to his immense intellectual ability, Amodio won over fans with his humble and unassuming persona. There were zero traces of arrogance through Amodio 38 episodes and that is something “Jeopardy” fans deeply admire.

But, Amodio was once worried that his quiet and soft-spoken nature would prevent him from appearing on the show. In a recent interview with a Cleveland media outlet, The 38-game “Jeopardy!” winner reveals the process that put him in front of the camera. Calling himself an introvert, Amodio says he was concerned that his personality might not shine through. It did though and that led to one of the greatest runs in game show history.

“There are auditions that you have to do and at each point, you not only have to answer questions right but there are people evaluating you for personality,” he recalls. “I’m a very introverted person and I was more worried about seeming interesting enough to get on the show than I was about the actual questions. But lo and behold, here I am.”

‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Talks Game Show Selection Process

Before he even got on stage, Amodio worried about the potential for stage fright while in front of a “Jeopardy!” audience. He was able to simplify his clue answering process to give himself an edge.

“I’ve never performed,” he says. “I’ve never been in theater or sung or played music in front of people, so I was really worried that I would have stage fright — forget my name, forget what the capital of Ohio is if they asked me.”

From there, he developed his clue-answering process by saying “what’s” in front of his answer each time.

“I thought if I forget to form it in a question, then they’re going to mark me wrong and I should just try to make that an instinct and do it without even thinking and that helped,” Amodio says.

The answering protocol employed by Matt Amodio would end up be his calling card.

Though his historic run is now over, we likely have not seen the last of Matt Amodio. It is highly likely he will appear in future editions of the show like “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions.

Outsider.com