After winning 38 consecutive games and earning over $1.5 million, the 30-year-old Ohio native lost his 39th game and officially ended his record-shattering streak — the second-longest one in the show’s history. Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik named contestant Jonathan Fisher the new champion and Jeopardy! fans immediately took to Twitter to share their mix of emotions.
But it wasn’t until several hours later that Matt spoke out publicly for the first time about his loss. In his signature way, the computer science Ph.D. student from New Haven, Connecticut took the turn of events with grace, giving a shoutout to his successor and runner-up.
“Congrats to today’s two brilliant challengers for making it an exciting game of #Jeopardy today!” he wrote. “Let’s celebrate a match well played by Jonathan and Jessica [Stephens]!”
The next day, after reading a flood of sympathetic comments from fans, Matt reminded them that he wasn’t going anywhere. “People saying to me ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ has a different meaning than usual today,” he tweeted. “Perspective is important 😉 I may not be gracing the #Jeopardy stage every day, but I’m still here!”
Reacting to the news, Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings tweeted, “What a run! 🙏.” Shortly after, Matt responded, “Referring to #Jeopardy, ‘you are half the man Ken Jennings is’ is a great compliment. Referring to life in general, it’s an even greater one. Thanks for being you, Ken ♥️.”
Fellow Jeopardy! Hall of Famer Brad Rutter added, “Congrats on a fantastic run, @AmodioMatt! Most impressive, and I look forward to seeing what you do on @Jeopardy in the future. Much respect!” Matt took this opportunity to express his appreciation for Brad, who holds the Jeopardy! record for all-time winnings. In short, the Matt replied, “I have spent so many days rooting you on through the TV, to have your respect means more to me than I can properly put into words!”
Jeopardy! prodigy Buzzy Cohen also sent Matt an encouraging message, “Congrats to @AmodioMatt on your amazing run. It’s no surprise what a following you’ve built being such a kind and gracious champion. Welcome to being a Jeopardy loser with the rest of us!” He then wrote back, “Is this what that feels like? Huh. Not so bad.”
After his final Jeopardy! episode, Matt opened up in an exclusive interview with the show about what was running through this head. He admitted that he was “sad” but he was “also thinking back to all the good times.” Matt revealed that he was “replaying every question” and even though it felt “like every other day,” it just didn’t work out. With everything said and done, he’s happy he “didn’t take anything for granted” and he was looking forward to a good night’s rest.
“I always wanted to be a Jeopardy! champion and I accomplished that with one win. I’ve had a few more wins and with that, I think I will always have this as part of my life,” he told the quiz show. “I will 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. [It’s] really a good one to have following me everywhere.”
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