Did Matt Amodio lose on purpose? Jeopardy fans react in utter disbelief

Yasmine Leung October 12, 2021

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Matt Amodio bid farewell to his 38-day Jeopardy! winning streak on Monday, 11 October but did he lose on purpose? Since he’s dominated for so long, some disappointed viewers want to believe it was a set-up.

Matt Amodio finally dethroned

The week hasn’t started off well for long-term Jeopardy! champion Matt Amodio.

After 38 episodes on the iconic game show, the 30-year-old Ohio native was dethroned by Jonathan Fisher – an actor from Florida. Amodio came third, behind Jessica Stephens, a statistical research specialist from Tennessee.

Amodio was caught by this question, which saw his already third-place total of $10,600 reduce to $5,600: “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 Yale PhD computer science student incorrectly submitted Poland, while Fisher and Stephens answered Austria, sending their earnings to $29,200 and $28,79 respectively.

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screenshot, YouTube – Jeopardy!

Matt Amodio’s response to his loss

Former champion Amodio responded graciously to defeat:

“Everybody’s so smart and so competent this could happen any game, and this time it did.

“I always wanted to be a Jeopardy! champion, and I accomplished that. I know going into every bar trivia game I play that I’m going to come in with a little intimidation factor. But also, I just like the badge it represents. As somebody who prioritises knowledge and knowing things, this is really a good one to have.”

Since his first Jeopardy! appearance on 21 July 2021, Amodio has earned a total of $1,518,601, bagging himself third place in the highest total cash winnings behind Ken Jennings’ $2,520,700 and James Holzhauer’s $2,462,216.

His 38-game streak places him in second place after Jennings’ record of 74 consecutive wins.

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Did Matt Amodio lose on purpose?

The loss has been hard to comprehend for loyal Amodio fans, particularly since they’re convinced he would’ve known the history question.

Surely there’s no way Amodio would want to throw money away but that didn’t stop one fan on social media claiming the student’s defeat was because the “buzzer wasn’t working” and accusing Amodio of “missing answers you never would have”. However, Amodio did recognise the tough categories and buzzer issues he faced.

Unfortunately, some viewers had become so attached to Amodio they’ve been blasting him with negative comments and drawing parallels between his loss with Holzhauer’s. On both occasions, fans whipped up theories that they lost on purpose.

Fans react to Matt Amodio’s loss

While some viewers accused the result of being a set-up, others have hit back saying a loss was inevitable. No-one can stay on the show forever!

Perhaps Amodio was simply exhausted from hours of filming:

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.