Matt Amodio Beats James Holzhauer’s Streak on ‘Jeopardy!’

Two years in the past, one “Jeopardy!” contestant, James Holzhauer, captured the imaginations of game-show followers who watched nightly to see his lightning-fast buzzer reflexes and dangerous bets.

Holzhauer’s 32-game run put his face (together with his trademark strained smile) all over the “Jeopardy!” corridor of fame. But on Friday, one other contestant, Matt Amodio, a Ph.D. scholar at Yale, gained his thirty third recreation, smashing via Holzhauer’s streak and taking his place as No. 2 within the file book for most video games gained in a row. The first spot is held by Ken Jennings, who gained 74 video games and finally became a consulting producer on the show.

Amodio’s victory brought him to $1.27 million in whole winnings, and he has a long way to go to beat Holzhauer’s $2.46 million. With such a rare whole, Holzhauer was poised during his thirty third episode to presumably surpass Jennings’s file of $2.52 million gained during the common season, but he was bested by Emma Boettcher, a librarian who wrote her grasp’s paper on “Jeopardy!”

The fanfare round Amodio — some on social media are calling it the “Amodio Rodeo”— is maybe a aid to the people behind the sport show, who’ve been struggling to discover a substitute for Alex Trebek, the beloved host who died last 12 months. The show’s former government producer, Mike Richards, was introduced because the new host, then swiftly stepped down after The Ringer reported on offensive feedback he had made on a podcast he created a number of years in the past. The actress Mayim Bialik and Jennings are internet hosting episodes till the tip of the 12 months.

“Jeopardy!” superfans are also rejoicing on the shift in focus from behind-the-scenes drama to what’s truly taking part in out onstage.

Andy Saunders, who runs the web site The Jeopardy! Fan, said Amodio and Holzhauer have related approaches to the sport: In the primary spherical, they each start by tackling all the $1,000 clues, then try to search out the Daily Double, to double their winnings and achieve a big lead over the opposite opponents. Where the 2 diverge, Saunders said, is within the subsequent spherical, where Holzhauer tended to inflate his rating by betting giant sums on the Daily Double clues.

“Where James might bet $13,000 or $14,000, Matt is betting $5,000 or $6,000,” he said in an interview. “And that’s pretty much the difference in their scores.”

Saunders thinks that Holzhauer’s aggressive technique comes from a better degree of confidence that he’s going to present the proper response. Based on Saunders’s statistics, Holzhauer tended to get three or 4 more right solutions than Amodio does every episode, offering more of a basis for that confidence. The willingness to wager huge might also have come from Holzhauer’s background as a sports activities bettor, where he grew comfy placing down giant sums of cash on video games.

That distinction in technique makes it unlikely that Amodio, who’s learning laptop science, will start to best Holzhauer within the class of single-game winnings, which Holzhauer utterly dominates.

However, if Amodio retains up his dominance, he has an opportunity at beating Jennings’s 74-game streak from 2004 and setting a file for all-time winnings in regular-season play.

Amodio tends to be humble about comparisons to the “Jeopardy!” all-stars, saying in a information launch that it was “surreal” to be beside Jennings within the corridor of fame and, on Twitter, writing that Holzhauer is best than him “in literally every way.”

Amodio’s star flip, only two years after Holzhauer rose to fame, has raised the query: Is “Jeopardy!” getting simpler, or are gamers simply getting higher?

Saunders, who tracks the outcomes of every recreation, thinks it’s that gamers are getting higher. He said he doesn’t see substantial modifications within the content material of the clues but, as an alternative, thinks that contestants have taken word of Holzhauer’s successful technique and are benefiting from an unlimited web archive of past “Jeopardy!” clues to arrange.

As for Jennings’s file, Amodio still has to double his streak, then win 9 more video games, to beat it.

“Let’s look at that in another month,” Saunders said. “Then maybe Ken should start to get worried.”

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