5 things to know about 'Jeopardy!' champion Matt Amodio

·3 min read

Matt Amodio is taking the "Jeopardy!" world by storm.

Amodio, a 30-year-old computer science Ph.D. candidate in his fifth year at Yale University, began competing on the popular quiz show on July 21 and is still going strong, having already broken records and landing himself a spot in the history books.

Here are five things you should know about the latest "Jeopardy!" champion.

He has the second-longest winning streak.

Amodio has won "Jeopardy!" 33 times, officially putting him past James Holzhauer, who won 32 games in a row. While this puts Amodio in second place in overall wins, he's still got a ways to go before he bests Ken Jennings' record of 74 consecutive wins.

He is the third person to join the millionaires club.

To date, Amodio has raked in an impressive $1,267,801 during his "Jeopardy!" stint, ranking him third overall. This puts him behind only Jennings, who won $2,520,700, and Holzhauer, who won $2,462,216, for highest winnings from regular-season play. These are the only three "Jeopardy!" contestants to join the elusive millionaires club.

He answers clues in the form of "what is."

Instead of changing the familiar "Jeopardy!" answer format to "who is" when the answer is a person, Amodio has fans scratching their heads because he sticks with "what is" when answering all clues.

"This is the first time I had performed in front of an audience of more than three people in my life. I was worried I would have crippling stage fright -- forget my name, forget everything," Amodio explained to "GMA." "I wanted to not think about things if I didn't have to. So I knew, according to the rules, that this would be allowed, and I just went with it."

He has nothing but respect for fellow champs.

Amodio has been trading playful jabs with Holzhauer the past few weeks, most notably on Sept. 20 when Holzhauer shared a meme comparing his 23-day winnings with Amodio's and writing, "When you order something online vs. when it arrives." Amodio responded, "Must be nice having time to throw shade on Twitter. Us #Jeopardy champions with 0 career losses have actual work to do."

When asked if there was any "legitimate trash talk" between him and other champs, Amodio said, "Not from my end. I don't want to put words in other people's mouths but at least for me it's all out of love."

For the record, Holzhauer and Jennings have been supportive of each other in other tweets.

He isn't fazed by the host drama.

"Jeopardy!" has been going through a tumultuous period in terms of landing a new, permanent host to take over for the late, great Alex Trebek -- but Amodio isn't letting that get to him.

Amodio actually began his "Jeopardy!" streak when "GMA" co-anchor Robin Roberts was guest hosting, and he has seen a number of other guests host since, including Mike Richards, who was named Trebek's successor but stepped away amid controversy and eventually exited the show as executive producer entirely. For the foreseeable future, Amodio will be with interim hosts Mayim Bialik and Jennings.

"So 'Jeopardy!' is not one person, 'Jeopardy!' is a whole team. There's one person changing, but everything else is staying the same," Amodio said. "The crew just does a great job of keeping the contestants comfortable and making them feel special."

5 things to know about 'Jeopardy!' champion Matt Amodio originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

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