Quiz whiz Matt Amodio just beat his own personal record on Jeopardy! Wagering high numbers in “Final Jeopardy!” during the Oct. 4 episode, the Ph.D. student walked away with an impressive total after giving the right answer -again.
Matt Amodio racked up $83K for one ‘Jeopardy!’ game
In the “Final Jeopardy!” category of “Renaissance Men”, Amodio gave another correct response to this clue:
10 years before a more famous work, he wrote in 1503 that the way to deal with rebels is to placate them or eliminate them.
Going into the last clue with $46K and a huge lead over his competitors, Amodio risked $37K. The Ph.D. student wrote down Machiavelli (as in Italian diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli), bringing his winning number to $83K. Only one other contestant got the answer correct, bringing his total to a distant $4,401.
Amodio’s jackpot is now at a staggering $1,350,801. And he’s still going.
‘Jeopardy!’ champ is not a gambler by nature
As a computer science student at Yale, Amodio is habitually frugal when it comes to spending. The idea of wagering high numbers like his Jeopardy! predecessor James Holzhauer seems completely unfathomable.
“I went in trying to suppress all the emotions that say: ‘Don’t do that! That’s too risky!!!’” Amodio wrote in an article for Newsweek. “I think you can see it on my face on the show, when I look a little pained at wagering $10,000. I can hear my parents in the back of my head saying: ‘It’s too much money. That’s a car you just wagered on one question!’”
Still, Amodio acknowledges that to hit seven-figure territory, you have to go big or go home.
“I consider myself a cautious person, but I know the best way to win is to not always be cautious,” he explained. “So I try not to worry about how I feel, and just do it. You have to think about it as monopoly money, I don’t even consider the dollars because it would be too real to view it as actual money.”
Matt Amodio has ‘zero plans’ in spending his ‘Jeopardy!’ jackpot
Now over the million-dollar mark in winnings, Amodio admitted he had low expectations when he began his Jeopardy! run.
“It is a good feeling to have won more than $1.2 million,” the Yale student wrote. “I won the annual rent for my apartment in my first game, and that was an optimistic best case scenario I had in mind going in: being able to pay a whole year in rent.”
Despite his new moniker of millionaire, Amodio isn’t looking at new cars or exotic vacations anytime soon. His prudent practice of saving continues to be his way of life.
“I don’t think of myself as rich,” the Jeopardy! star shared in Newsweek. “It just feels like I have a net underneath the tightrope walking that is life in general. I guess eventually it will start to sink in, but as of now, I still feel like a PhD student with a small stipend. I’ve always tried to live on as little as possible and pocket away what I could for a rainy day. Now, my rainy day fund is overflowing. … But I have zero plans to spend the money. The air conditioning in my car has been broken for 6 or 7 years and I’m finally going to use this money to fix it. That’s probably it.”
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