Current Yale Ph.D. student who grew up watching Jeopardy appears on the show as a contestant

Entertainment

(WTNH) — He’s the current Yale Ph.D. student who grew up watching Jeopardy. Who is Mattew Amodio? 

As a young boy, Amodio remembers watching Jeopardy with his mom and dad. He didn’t know a lot of the words, and none of the answers. That would change over time.

RELATED: Remembering Alex Trebek, former ‘Jeopardy!’ host on what would have been his 81st birthday

“As I grew up I said, ‘Wow, I know one. Finally one.’”

Eventually, the Ohio-native would know more answers, never straying far from the show he loved, no matter where life would take him.

Amodio is all grown up now. In fact, he’s a computer science major. “I’m pretty deep into my Ph.D.,” he said, “I guess I’m going into my fifth year.”

He’s also a contestant on Jeopardy. Friday night at 7:00 on WTNH, Amodio will try and move on.

Amodio told News 8 he tried out for the show initially to appease his dad.

Keep in mind, the shows were taped back in April, and Matthew can’t offer any spoilers.

Since the pandemic, he’s continued his Yale studies remotely.

Back in Ohio, he said friends and family will gather again Friday night to watch. Something he still is getting used to.

“It’s very weird seeing myself on television,” Amodio said. “I’m not used to that. This is the first time I’ve ever had that experience.”

You might imagine most contestants seek out ways to prepare for the show. We asked Amodio how he prepared.

“One of the things that I found was an effective strategy, is follow everything that Ken Jennings says and try to duplicate it as best as I can. He’s been a role model. I remember watching him as a kid.” He admits it’s hard to keep things under wraps.

“It’s hard at times. I’m excited, this is fun.”

Since the shows were taped in April, Amodio never got to meet the show’s iconic host Alex Trebek, who passed away last November. Amodio said he would have been flattered to meet Trebek, he isn’t complaining about the show’s current guest host, Robin Roberts.  

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