Yale Ph.D. student earns over $1 million in winnings in 28-day streak on Jeopardy!


(WTNH) — He ranks third in the Jeopardy! Hall of Fame for consecutive games won and highest winnings – Who is Matt Amodio? That’s correct. The Yale Ph.D. student has won a 28-day total of $1,004,001 as of Friday.

Amodio spoke to News 8 on Thursday. He said, as a young sports fan, he would associate his name with the likes of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Instead, he stands almost side-by-side with Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer.

As fans of the game show Jeopardy! know, that’s rarified air. Jennings and Holzhasuer rank one and two on the iconic show’s All-Time winners list.

Amodio, a Yale computer science Ph.D. student, has far exceeded his own expectations. “So I see my face and my name next to these legends. I’m like ‘OK, this is just a childhood dream, and this isn’t real.’” Except, of course, it is very real.

Heading into Thursday night’s airing on WTNH, the native of Medina, Ohio had a 26-day winning streak at $929,401.

Growing up, Amodio said he watched Jeopardy! all the time with his family. We asked him what it’s like for him and his family watching him compete in the show now. “It’s a crazy feeling. I finally got to see what it’s like to be on the stage and have that perspective. And so for the first time I’m watching these episodes and saying ‘Oh, I know where that camera is.’ Or ‘Ah, I know where they’re looking when they’re facing that way.’ And so it gives me that insider feeling”.

He said he feels like he’s watching a different person when he’s watching himself.

Despite all of his success on the show, there’s been a little bit of controversy. Matt has started nearly every one of his responses with the phrase “what’s.” The rules clearly state “all contestants’ responses to an answer must be phrased in the form of a question.”

The way he answers is not against the rules, but it is unique. Amodio said there is a reason for it. He said he was actually amused by it. “I have thick skin. There was a part of me that actually was amused by how annoyed they were. But, also in the back of my head, I knew we were only three games in and they said I can’t wait for this guy to lose. And I was saying ‘you might have to wait a while.’”

They’re still waiting…

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