This 'Jeopardy!' question finally ended Matt Amodio's 38-game winning streak

·2 min read
A man in a gray suit posing behind a podium with a hand on his chest
"Jeopardy!" contestant Matt Amodio. (Jeopardy Productions Inc. via AP)

Long-reigning "Jeopardy!" champion Matt Amodio has played his final game ... for now.

After an astounding 38 consecutive wins on the popular game show, the 30-year-old computer science PhD candidate at Yale University finally lost Monday night to competitors Jonathan Fisher and Jessica Stephens.

Fisher, an actor from Florida, won the game with $29,200, while Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Tennessee, came in second with $28,799. Amodio landed in third with $5,600.

Heading into Monday's Final Jeopardy! round, Fisher and Stephens had amassed $14,600 and $14,400, respectively, while Amodio trailed with $10,600.

Here is the Final Jeopardy! clue that sealed Amodio's fate: "Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps and the Danube; the Allies later divided it into four sectors."

The question — posed correctly by Fisher and Stephens — was "What is Austria?" Amodio wagered $5,000 on "What is Poland?"

"We have to say goodbye to Matt Amodio with an unbelievable 38-day winning streak," said temporary host Mayim Bialik during the broadcast.

"That is one for the books. It has been an honor and a pleasure to watch you here. Congratulations. What a way to start the week."

On Twitter, Amodio congratulated his "brilliant challengers" on a "match well played." His cumulative "Jeopardy!" winnings amounted to a whopping $1.5 million — the third highest nontournament total of all time, behind series GOAT Ken Jennings' $2.52 million and James Holzhauer's $2.46 million.

In terms of winning streaks, Amodio is second only to Jennings, who secured 74 consecutive wins during his record-breaking run in 2004. Like Jennings and Holzhauer before him, Amodio will return for the competition program's next Tournament of Champions.

His dethronement comes amid the TV institution's ongoing search for a permanent host to replace the late Alex Trebek. In the meantime, Bialik and Jennings are set to trade guest hosting duties for the rest of the year.

“I always wanted to be a ["Jeopardy!"] champion, and I accomplished that,” Amodio said in a statement.

“l know going into every bar trivia game that I play that I'm going to come in with a little intimidation factor. But also, I just like the badge that it represents. As somebody who prioritizes knowledge and knowing things, this is really a good one to have following me everywhere.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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