Matt Amodio’s 38-game winning streak on Jeopardy! came to an end on Oct. 11. The Ph.D. student racked up over $1.5 million in winnings and bumped former champ James Holzhauer down to third place for most consecutve wins. Competing during a wave of guest hosts, Amodio’s loss fell under Mayim Bialik’s turn at the iconic podium. Apparently, The Big Bang Theory alum gave the Ohio native an extra special sendoff after the devastating defeat.
Matt Amodio gave his ‘Jeopardy!’ opponents a shout out
Viewers have been wowed by Amodio’s breadth of knowledge since he first appeared on Jeopardy! in July. Pushing Holzhauer out of second place for most consecutive wins and eyeing Ken Jennings’ first place spot, Amodio appeared to be in contention for GOAT status.
Florida resident Jonathan Fisher and Nashville statistical research specialist Jessica Stephens changed the trajectory for the Yale University student this week. Amodio often struggled to find his footing throughout the game, and trailed Fisher by $4,000 going into Final Jeopardy! His incorrect response took him down to $5,600, putting him in third place behind Stephens with $28,799. Fisher became the new Jeopardy! champ with $29,200 in winnings.
“I got off to an early good start, but Double Jeopardy! went terribly for me,” Amodio told the Washington Post. “I was pretty soundly defeated. It was weird because in previous games, there were stretches where I lost the timing of the buzzer, but it was early enough in the games where the dollar values weren’t so high that I could recover later. … It had never been that long a stretch during a crucial point of time in the game.”
Ever the good sport, Amodio gave props to his competitors following Fisher’s victory. “Congrats to today’s two brilliant challengers for making it an exciting game of #Jeopardy today!” Amodio tweeted in praise of his opponents. “Let’s celebrate a match well played by Jonathan and Jessica!”
Mayim Bialik prompted extra cheers for ‘Jeopardy!’ champ
Amodio has seen his share of guest hosts during his Jeopardy! run. High-profile personalities including Robin Roberts, LeVar Burton, and Joe Buck have all had a turn at iconic lectern during the quiz whiz’s tenure. Bialik began manning the post in late September after the firing of executive producer Mike Richards. Amodio raved of Bialik’s handling of the controversy behind the scenes, especially when Jeopardy! became the topic of headlines.
“I know her situation was not an easy one,” he wrote in an article for Newsweek. “She knew the attention was going to be on her with the hosting situation, and she had to jump in there unexpectedly. She does a really good job. I have been amazed by her.”
Following Amodio’s loss, Bialik prompted a second round of applause for the Jeopardy! champ by joining the crew and staff together for “a very nice moment”.
“I wasn’t feeling so great at the time,” Amodio admitted. “So reaching out to make me feel that way was very nice of her.”
‘Quite a game’, according to Mayim Bialik
Jeopardy! released some behind-the-scenes footage immediately following the episode.
“Everybody take a deep breath,” Bialik said in the Twitter video as Fisher buried his head in his podium. “My water’s empty,” Fisher remarked, still in shock at his victory.
“So I’ll see you in 37 games?” Amodio joked.
“Congratulations, that was quite a game,” Bialik told Fisher, with Amodio giving his own praise to the new champ. “Well deserved, excellent,” he commended.
“It’s been really a pleasure to watch all of this unfold,” Bialik noted.