Jeopardy champ Matt Amodio now third-highest winner, behind only Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer
It's been quite the week for Jeopardy fans both on and off the screen. Just a day after the show finally announced its new permanent host(s), current champion Matt Amodio's historic run has hit another milestone.
With his 17th straight win on Thursday's episode of Jeopardy, Amodio became the third-highest earner in the quiz show's history (not counting tournaments) with $547,600. Now that he's surpassed previous third-place winner Jason Zuffranieri, who won $532,496 in 2019, the only champions still ahead of Amodio are Jeopardy GOATs Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer, whose regular-season winnings both surpassed $2 million.
Jennings congratulated Amodio on Twitter earlier this week, after the champion became the fourth-highest earner in Jeopardy history. "This guy is the Jeopardy! story no one is following," Jennings wrote Monday night, to which Amodio replied, "Ken, you've been a hero and an inspiration to me for almost two decades. I just want to thank you for everything you've given to the world."
"Congrats on all your success! Well-deserved," Jennings added.
Amodio previously told EW that he based much of his Jeopardy strategy on Jennings' advice. "I think that my strategy going in was watch Ken, and try to do whatever Ken does," he said. "He's done TED talks, he does podcasts, and he drops a little bit of knowledge here and there, like, 'When I was trying to get in on the buzzer I would just listen to the cadence of the voice and try and view it like a musical meter and get the rhythm and stuff.' So I would just take any notes I could from him."
With Jeopardy's current season concluding on Friday, there's a very good chance Amodio's run will stretch into next season, set to premiere Sept. 13. Executive producer Mike Richards will become the show's new host with the start of that season, officially taking over for the late Alex Trebek. Meanwhile, Mayim Bialik, who guest hosted the show for two weeks earlier this year, will host Jeopardy's prime-time and spin-off series going forward.
The selection of Richards has sparked controversy, as the producer was named in a recently resurfaced discrimination lawsuit against his previous employer The Price Is Right. Responding to the lawsuit in a memo sent to the Jeopardy staff this week, Richards declared, "The way in which my comments and actions have been characterized in these complaints does not reflect the reality of who I am or how we worked together on The Price Is Right."
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