Matt Amodio finally lost on "Jeopardy!", bringing to a close the Yale Ph.D. student's 38-game run on the popular syndicated game show.
Fan-favorite Amodio lost in Monday's episode after he failed to provide the correct response in Final Jeopardy. He finished his "Jeopardy!" streak in the No. 2 spot on the all-time consecutive wins rankings behind only Ken Jennings (74 wins). Amodio leaves the show with total cash winnings of $1,518,601, putting him in third place for regular-season play behind Jennings ($2,520,700) and pro sports gambler James Holzhauer ($2,462,216).
Amodio is slated to return for the next "Jeopardy!" Tournament of Champions series.
"I always wanted to be a 'Jeopardy!' champion, and I accomplished that," Amodio said in a statement. "l 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, this is really a good one to have following me everywhere."
Amodio, 30, is a fifth-year computer science doctoral candidate at Yale. The end of the road for him on "Jeopardy!" (for now) came down to the Final Jeopardy clue: "Nazi Germany annexed this nation and divided it into regions of the Alps and the Danube; the Allies later divided it into four sectors." The correct response was, "What is Austria?" (Amodio's incorrect response was Poland.)
The contestant who dethroned Amodio was Jonathan Fisher, an actor originally from Coral Gables, Fla., who finished with a winning total of $29,200. Fisher edged out Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Nashville, Tenn., who had the lead at various points in the game but ended in second place with $28,799. Amodio came in third with $5,600.
"Jeopardy!", produced by Sony Pictures Television, is in its 38th season of syndication. Current host Mayim Bialik presided over the end of Amodio's historic appearance on on the show. Sony said Bialik and Jennings will be the hosts of "Jeopardy!" for the rest of the year as the studio searches for a permanent host to replace the late Alex Trebek.
In August, former "Jeopardy!" executive producer Mike Richards had been named host, before he stepped down once insensitive comments that he made on a past podcast resurfaced along with two previous discrimination lawsuits from his time as EP of "The Price Is Right." Sony subsequently fired Richards.