T O P

What's... Amodio? That's me!

What's... Amodio? That's me!

ReganLynch

Hi Everyone. Thanks for joining the AMA! It's going great. And thank you so much to Matt! Just a reminder that questions should be related to Jeopardy as much as possible. Thank you.


WhatIsKevin

Hi Matt! Your 21st victim checking in here. Just want to publicly acknowledge something small but quite nice that you said to me behind the scenes. While we were waiting to go on, I was pretty nervous and babbling on about how I had hoped not to go on right after lunch for fear of a food coma. You said to me, “Hey, I won my first game right after lunch against a multi day champion.” Your choice to be encouraging when you just as easily could have tried to intimidate or even say nothing says a lot about your character and made me very happy to root for you the rest of the way. (Well, that and being able to say that I experienced the Jeopardy! equivalent of being dunked on by Shaq). Oh and I guess since I’m supposed to ask a question here, what was the best meal not on the Sony lot that you had in LA while taping? Best of luck in the ToC!


IdLikeToMakeItA

Aw, thanks! Well even though it is a competition, it is a competition amongst people. I appreciate you saying this, as hopefully other people reading this will be inspired to act similarly in that position! As for the food, I only did online takeout, but I had very good Thai from Hidden Garden.


Gopherbashi

Hi Matt, not a question but I just wanted to say that my three year old loved seeing you on the show every night! "Hi Matt!" at the start of every show and "Bye Matt!" at the end. He was confused for the first few shows after you left but now he just says "No more Matt, Matt home". Hope you're doing well!


IdLikeToMakeItA

That is adorable. And hearing "Bye Matt" after I lost would certainly have made me laugh out loud


MaineSoxGuy93

>What's....Amodio? Nothing, what's Amodio with you?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Now Matt is what I call humor


_rogueclown_

hi, Matt! congratulations on your run — it was wonderful to watch, and was an honour to play you! what was it like having part of your run air before the later episodes were even taped? it was kind of nice to have some time to make sense of my own episode in my head before it was out there for people to see — was it strange, or fun, or anything in particular to have some of that out there, and then go back and tape more episodes?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thank you! Our game is a constant reminder of how much luck goes into Jeopardy. On many other days, I don't think I escape with a win. I did not like this at all. I was very jealous that James got to play every one of his games in the shadow. I think one advantage the champion has is certainty about some things in the face of the challenger's uncertainty. I didn't get that to the same degree. It was also *pretty* distracting to be contacting all my friends and stuff about airing episodes while taping others.


_rogueclown_

thank you so much. i was seriously glad to be able to give you a tight game -- but also, that's what makes Jeopardy! so special. you get one shot, and you have to make the best of it. i gave it the best shot i could given the questions, and you were awesome! that's a great point about having to talk to people about airing episodes while you're taping more. it was a lot, talking to people about one episode — but i can hardly imagine juggling that with more tapings. i guess, a follow up question about one of the other things you said, if you have the time...did you notice anything different about the play styles or the gameplay attitudes of your opponents after the season break, once your episodes had begun to air? i can imagine that being a major difference than...a roomful of people like us, who had just found out that morning how many games you had won.


IdLikeToMakeItA

Yes, but not what you think: over the season break they added a second morning rehearsal game so all of the challengers get twice the practice now. This did not please me.


_rogueclown_

i can't actually tell if you're joking. i mean, i assume you're not, but i think the idea of them changing it is just causing so much cognitive dissonance that "YOU HAVE TO BE JOKING ME" was my first thought. it's not necessarily a bad thing; i would have treasured any more practice time they were willing to give me. but, the one practice game already felt like just enough to get the hang of the buzzer without getting burnt out on it.


IdLikeToMakeItA

I don't think "getting burnt out on it" is a problem, I definitely did a lot better by the time Friday games rolled in :) I wouldn't be surprised if the 2nd buzzer practice has a measurable effect on the number of long runs going forward


MattAmodioDollar

Hi Matt! I really enjoyed your run, which I took a great interest in starting with Game 18. That's when you obtained the $1 at the end of your winnings. Did you/do you have any big plans for that $1? And what is the $1 doing at this very moment? Asking for...a friend.


IdLikeToMakeItA

You should know that the $1 is currently a hypothetical concept, but in the near future I will withdraw physical money from my winnings for the first time and we will be getting a picture together. I'll see if Johnny Gilbert will join us


MattAmodioDollar

I really like that idea. Somewhere out there is a lucky dollar bill with a great destiny ahead of it, kind of a like a reverse lottery where the money wins the person!


IdLikeToMakeItA

This is fantastic, well said!


peasandsteaks

Matt, how many dm’s/marriage proposals/date requests have you gotten? -an interested fan


IdLikeToMakeItA

Many more than I expected, which was zero. I assumed my appearances would be mocked and criticized relentlessly, because you know, the internet. People have held their tongues which I think is surprising and nice :)


SSabell1999

Nah Matt you are so cute 🥰


the-tea-leafer

Hi Matt! First of all, once again, it was an honor to lose to you. First question, obvious but must be asked: do you have a favorite Zelda game? I know you mentioned A Link to the Past, but is it your favorite? Second question: as your wins racked up, did you fear at all how the other contestants would react to you? Did they end up reacting as you expected, or did they surprise you? (Edit: a word)


IdLikeToMakeItA

Hello again! In general I like 2d/grid games over 360-degree movement worlds. I liked Ocarina (it was the first one I played when it came out), but the only one I've ever replayed was A Link to the Past, my favorite. I worried being viewed as a villain, which would have made the 12-hour tape days a lot more unpleasant. I was surprised you hid your hatred of me so well :)


the-tea-leafer

Fair enough! Both great choices. Also ha! No hatred. A lot of fear on my part of facing such a crazy skilled champion, but no hate. Also, it’s pretty hard to see you as a villain after meeting you- you’re just too darn likable. Just your cross to bear, I guess ☺️ thanks so much for answering!


lucevan

Hi Matt, thanks for doing this AMA! Really enjoyed watching your games! My questions: 1. How did you juggle between Jeopardy and your PhD program at the same time? Did you let your PhD advisor know about your streak when it was happening? 2. If The Chase invited you to be a chaser, would you agree or at least consider it? 3. Have you become particularly good friends with any of your fellow contestants?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. I didn't update my advisor too much because my goal was to make it as if Jeopardy wasn't even happening as far as work was concerned. It is just a game show after all, and I assume I would not be given any leeway from my real work and thus didn't want to ask for any. Other than tape days where I obviously had to miss meetings, I think it was minimally disruptive. 2. I don't want to give up my main career (hopefully being a professor soon), but if I can do both I absolutely would love to, and would go to great lengths to fit them both in if possible 3. Not particularly, but I have stayed in touch with some remotely and who knows where that will lead in the future!


ScottyMcScot

re #2: You should get Johnny Gilbert to record a clip of "And now our returning professor, Matt Amodio." And play it every day before starting lecture.


IdLikeToMakeItA

I love this idea!


lucevan

Thanks for answering! Wish you all the best in your life and career!


JSA17

There's going to be a kid or twelve that freaks out when they recognize who their professor is.


kelmit

Do you have any advice for my 8yo who got interested in J! thanks to you? I’m thrilled to have you as a role model for him. He says hi!


IdLikeToMakeItA

Hello! I would try to emphasize the game aspect of it. He may not find Jane Austen very interesting. But does he want to get a better personal high score by getting 1200 points? I certainly would've at that age ;)


choppernewt

Hi Matt! There are so many questions here I apologize if this is a repeat. I wondered if your run has changed any of your plans for the future. You seem like you had a pretty solid path ahead of you and I am curious if the money or notoriety will cause you to adjust that course in any way.


IdLikeToMakeItA

Not really. Ideally, I will be able to squeeze more Jeopardy/televised trivia into my life, because this is super fun. But I'm not giving up anything I had planned before this. Job security is important to me because I am naturally a very stressed person, and my original career path has a lot more security than "not even the best trivia celebrity from his own game show".


Magnolia1997

Hey Matt! My dad, sister, and I bonded over your amazing run and had a wonderful time cheering for you! Congrats on your record-shattering performance! Anyway, I just asked my dad if he had any questions for you and he said this: “Ask him who the first president of Guyana was. If he knows the answer, then you’ll know he’s a genius for sure.” 😂 I immediately burst out laughing because 1) he totally misunderstood what an AMA is, and 2) he’s such a proud Guyanese (he was *very* impressed by how easily you identified Guyana on the map and answered other seemingly obscure questions about the small nation during your run.) With that said, thanks for having been such a joy and pleasure to watch! Your humility and kindness are truly inspiring. Wishing you all the best in your future on Jeopardy! ❤️


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thank you! I did not know, although I just looked it up so now I do know! I often pick a country I know little about and then read as much as I can find online about it, and I certainly did that with Guyana. There is so much interesting stuff to learn!


Magnolia1997

Haha! Well, if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t know either! 😂 You’re still a genius in my book! 😉 (And, my dad is still you’re #1 fan!)


TheCrookedKnight

To be fair to your dad, the natural meaning of "ask me anything" is very different in a Jeopardy forum!


sayasigns

is there top-shelf swag for elite champs making their exit or did you leave with a hat like the rest of us?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I was a little disappointed, but it's just the same swag. I thought about sneaking another tote on my way out, because I mean what're they going to do to me?


sayasigns

the last temptation of Matt


lurkieloo123

Now I'm trying to imagine what a Jeopardy! crown would look like. I think there should be a tiny replica of Rodin's The Thinker sticking up in the middle like a unicorn horn.


dpecslistens

Now I'm hoping that Matt got a really cool J! belt buckle or something


sayasigns

a VERY BIG hat


IdLikeToMakeItA

We should be given a hat with size proportional to our scores


_rogueclown_

i'm glad that was not the case, because i'd have left with no hat. and having a hat is a nice memento.


grangerowling

Like so? [https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5e72551b98463666e0458cd2/1585766091741-NM259YUD78WDU8FN21KN/Burt+Reynolds.gif](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5e72551b98463666e0458cd2/1585766091741-NM259YUD78WDU8FN21KN/Burt+Reynolds.gif)


dpecslistens

[A very big hat](https://www.dictionary.com/e/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Turd-Ferguson.jpg), you say?


sharpkellar

It's funny because it's, uh, bigger than a, you know, normal hat.


la_fleur_noire

Hi Matt! So thrilled and thankful to have you here 😊 1. How has your self-perception changed (or not!) in relation to how others see you, now that you are a top-tier Jeopardy champion? 2. What is your new go-to excuse for procrastinating on writing/editing your dissertation?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. It hasn't really changed much, which either says something about how I think of myself now or how I thought of myself before 2. Squid Game


grangerowling

Thanks for doing this, Matt! Loved watching you on Jeopardy and I really appreciate how much you interact with fans on social media! 1. What was it like filming during Covid? Did it add any stress to the process? 2. Which episode was your favorite and why? 3. And since it's almost Halloween, what's your fave scary movie?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. It didn't really add to the stress, and I actually liked not having an audience. I assume I would've done fine with the audience, but it was one less wildcard to worry about 2. Either episode 1 where I got the first win, or maybe episode 2 when I won somewhat comfortably for the first time. That's when I said to myself "oooo-kay, we might have something here" 3. I don't love scary movies, as I find reality plenty scary. If it counts as a Halloween movie, I like the original Ghostbusters a lot


cqil3y

Hi Matt! Would you ever want to compete against Ken Jennings?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Yes. I would get demolished, but I would be so happy to get demolished


gagafurbohemian

Not OP but if Sony called you up tomorrow and asked you to do a special tournament with Ken/Watson/yourself or Ken/James/yourself, what would be your initial reaction? This is something the sub seems to discuss often enough :)


IdLikeToMakeItA

My initial reaction would be "What is Brad too busy with?" I'm quite confident Brad is better than me. But then my reaction would be "how many yeses do I need to say for me to get my enthusiasm across without seeming annoying?"


shadowbake

Hi Matt! I have a few questions: were there any wrong answers you were really kicking yourself for? (Other than Turing, that one hurt to watch.) Also: did elf really give you a $8000 gift card? What are your plans for it? I loved your run by the way!! You had the best expressions haha


IdLikeToMakeItA

elf donated to a charity of my choice, which is awesome. I really kicked myself over all of the misreading I did. There is so much going on in terms of speed reading, timing the host's voice, and then thinking of trivia, that I often just missed important phrases that led to some stupid-sounding guesses. I was not happy with Ministry of Truth becoming Harry Potter instead of 1984


visioninblue

Hi Matt! Thanks for your warm and endearing presence on both my TV screen and my social media feed. I was wondering what made you seek further higher education after receiving your B.S. degree. Did you always know you wanted to pursue research and professorship? I’m a recent grad just starting out in the tech industry and I’ve thought about going back to school one day, but I didn’t get to figure out if I’m much of a research person in undergrad. Honestly, the more theoretical stuff in CS flies right over my head. :’)


IdLikeToMakeItA

I gave "Data Scientist" a try, not thinking I would ever want to go back for a PhD. The big thing for me is the freedom to pick my own projects. As long as I can do it well enough to get my work published, I can write about whatever I want. And it can be something different next month and then the month after if I want. I hated having my boss assign me things to do even if I thought they were unoriginal, misguided, or pointless.


splendidsuns123

Hi Matt! My family loved watching your run, congratulations on such an amazing streak. My question is, what do you think of the nicknames people attributed to your run like Amodeo Rodeo, Matt Gala, etc? Do any friends or family members use it now? :)


IdLikeToMakeItA

I love it, very fun and playful. I think I'm partial to Matt Gala because it appeals to my aesthetic of wanting to be classy moreso than a rodeo does, but Amodio Rodeo is more fun to say. Friends have started referring to our rendezvous as the Rodeo, so it has caught on!


sharpkellar

Hi there, Matt! It was very exciting to meet you and as Gabbie said in this thread, no hatred from us, only respect! I probably didn't get this question in in time, but just in case you see it in the sea of enthusiasm for your AMA: if you were in a future All Stars tournament, what two other J! champions would you most want on your team? (To make this hypothetical somewhat more interesting, consider Ken/James/Brad as ineligible.)


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thanks! That is a really interesting question. I'll go with Larissa Kelly and Alex Jacob, which seems like both a talented and very fun team


sharpkellar

Excellent choices - that would be a murderer's row to have to play against (and they both do seem like fun teammates as well!) Fingers crossed we get to see you on many exciting future returning player events!


compsc1

My god, you're still at it. This has got to be the most generous AMA I've witnessed. Good on ya


IdLikeToMakeItA

And I'm even back for more!


eclecticmom

1) My 8 year old wants to know if you play/played Skyrim or any of the Elder Scrolls games and if so what was your character. 2) My 12 year old wants to know what your favorite book you read in middle school was (or around that age)? 3) I noticed in stressful moments on Jeopardy you would let out a breath and then take a deep breath. It seemed intentional and I wondered if focusing on your breath is a habit you have for calming down in general or something you cultivated intentionally for Jeopardy or just something you did instinctually in those moments.


IdLikeToMakeItA

Ah I played the earlier Elder Scrolls, I think the last one was Morrowind, and I always liked playing as stealth roles/characters. I still really like Catcher in the Rye. I relate to Holden a lot, sadly or happily. I think my breaths were just reminders to myself to relax. I don't necessarily think it helps physiologically, though it might, but really it is just a reminder to keep my emotions in check :)


mr_penings

Hi Matt. Big fan of yours! I have the following few questions: Who would you say were your toughest competitors? Seemed like Josh Saak in your 1st game and Jonathan Fisher and Jessica Stephens were competitive. You've said that geography is one of your strengths. How did you study Geography? Any books/Youtube channels you used to learn?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I'm glad you asked this. I think this is very important: it is almost impossible to compare my opponents to each other because I was also changing. It goes without saying any of the 78 people I faced were capable of beating me on the right day with the right board. Just to name 2 as an example, though, (and me not mentioning someone is just because of lack of time/space... I faced so many great challengers!). I remember that I felt totally in a groove when I played against Anthony Christopher-Smith and Daniel Pecoraro. I believe they were both pretty comfortable runaways, but I remember thinking to myself "if I had faced you at another time this could've gotten ugly for me". Other games looked pretty close but I personally think it's because I was out-of-it and think I could've done a lot better at another time.


sharpkellar

Tagging u/dpecslistens so he sees this awesome compliment! (Haven't seen Anthony around but he was awesome too!)


dpecslistens

Thanks for this and thank you Matt!! Very kind indeed.


IdLikeToMakeItA

Your game might have been the most "on" I felt in any individual game of my entire run, and I don't know if that is good to hear from your perspective or not. So much randomness


dpecslistens

Honestly, losing out to very-top-of-your-game you feels better than losing to somebody-pissed-in-your-cornflakes-that-morning you, I'll say that much. As said before, it was a great honor competing against you and feeling like I did a decent job all the same 😌


gagafurbohemian

Daniel is fairly present here in this sub :). Personally speaking, I love seeing past contestants and fans interacting on the individual subject threads and on the recap threads every day!


whatisagoat

How long had you been waiting to share the story of your moldy fridge with us?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I toned it down for TV. I still wretch every time I imagine the smell of that maggot hive. It was like a mound of maggots the size of a large wedding cake


dpecslistens

Good GOD, man


whatisagoat

Thanks! So glad I asked!


sayasigns

NOOOOOO


Game-rotator

What were your thoughts immediately after losing?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Matt sad.


Einia52556

We sad too!! :-(


duddles

In your first game you didn't buzz in on the pivotal Andrew LLoyd Webber clue, but in your last game you knew the Tim Rice question - was that something you had studied up on over the break? (And do you have a favorite musical?) Also I was calculating [some stats](https://www.reddit.com/r/Jeopardy/comments/q5w7fe/data_viz_of_the_amodio_rodeo_bouncing_dd_hunting/) and found you were the 2nd "bounciest" player behind Arthur Chu (and the Jeopardy round of your 37th game was the only round in Jeopardy history to have no consecutive clues from the same category!). Is bouncing around your preferred way to run the board, or is it partly to keep your opponents on their toes?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I was 90% sure about Webber, but the game situation dictated the right move there was to hold off. I tried to buzz in originally and would've gone with ALW if I won the buzzer battle. I like musicals, with Hamilton, Chicago, and (to pick an old one) Anything Goes among my favorites. I like bouncing because it just feels pretty natural to me to not expect the next clue to be anything like the previous clue, but I also leaned into it as a strategy because I knew some of my opponents would find that more challenging. That's so cool to know that I am so statistically bouncy, thanks for sharing!


chessplayr125

Thanks for taking the time, Matt. A few questions I had: 1) You mentioned that you grew up watching Jeopardy with your parents. I'm curious if they ever tried out for the show themselves? How good is their skill compared to yours? Do you have similar strengths/weaknesses as them? And did they help you prepare in any categories before your appearance? 2) I listened to your episode on a baseball podcast, and you seemed very knowledgeable on baseball statistics. Have you considered betting on baseball as James Holzhauer does?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. They take the online test for fun, but they insist they won't go on even if called because they find it too stressful. I think I gained some of my strengths from them (e.g. literature from my mom, classic cinema from my dad) but I think they have weaknesses in some of my favorite topics like history. In terms of preparation, nothing can replace 20 years of your mom telling you about how much she hated or loved every book they asked about that day. Boy she does not like Norman Mailer. 2. I don't find the act of betting to be enjoyable, so it would have to be a lot more of a "sure money" proposition for me to be interesting


hern0gjensen

Hey Matt! As a fellow lover of Wikipedia articles, I was wondering how you feel they helped you study for Jeopardy! Did you find yourself sticking to specific articles, or have just consumed so many articles it didn't matter? Did you end up studying things after you noticed something came up often, like a map?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I think the linking helps a lot. So you can connect something you learned a month ago to the thing in front of your eyes at the moment, and then really build lasting memories from that. I came back to lists a lot as I learned more things, e.g. Oscar history


co22_reddit

Hey Matt! In interviews, you always have to answer what you are going to do with your winnings but I’m curious what you ended up doing with the gift certificate elf cosmetics gave you after the miss on the daily double? Hope you’re working with them to produce some ear makeup ;)


IdLikeToMakeItA

It was actually donated to a charity of my choice, which is the best possible use of that money I can imagine :)


Shitagi-Nashi_-

​ 1. I think you are Joe Buck's celebrity crush- he liked you, he liked you a lot. 2. What was it like walking on that stage the first time? 3. Did you spray tan between seasons, or was that the MU department using foundation (foundation is a pigmented liquid that goes on your face) to make you appear tan?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. I don't see a question there, but I will say that Joe Buck is a tremendously awesome person from what I met of him. He took doing his job well *very seriously*, but also took having fun *very seriously*. That made for a fun day to be around him. 2. I spent more time than I should have thinking to myself "I'm on the Jeopardy stage!" and not thinking about the question at hand. It's a mind-blowing experience. 3. Different makeup


JustinDigsData

Did you enjoy making my kids cry by humiliating their dad on internationally-syndicated TV? Also, do you think the Amazon LOTR series will be any good?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Obviously yes and obviously maybe


Auferstehen2

Congrats on the amazing run, Matt! Of the well over 1,000 correct responses you had on the show which ones stand out to you as the most memorable or the ones that made you happiest to get right? And on a more important note, would you rather play trivia against 100 duck-sized horses, or against one horse-sized duck?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I think my favorites were the ones where I needed and used all my 5 seconds to come up with the right answer. Whenever I say "I don't know this now but I think I will know this in 5 seconds" and am right, I feel very self-aware :) The horse-sized duck would clearly be the most frightening thing I've ever seen in my life, so it has to be the 100 duck-sized horses.


FuzzyLantern

Hi, Matt! This is my first reddit post! I'd love to know what your thesis is? There's been some casual mention of machine learning and AI, and as a fellow data person it sounds like you're doing interesting work. As a more Jeopardy-related aside, I started watching you during LeVar's week because I knew one of your challengers. That was a runaway and I wasn't a fan as a result, ha ha (though I found out later your challenger was so impressed with you that it was more than okay). I kept checking in to watch new hosts, and after another week you'd completely won me over. I was rooting for your historic streak! Congratulations on your run and thanks for doing the AMA :)


IdLikeToMakeItA

I work on generative adversarial networks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generative_adversarial_network (thank you in advance, wikibot). I apply them to biological data, but generative modeling is just super interesting to me from a math/stats/probability point of view. Thanks! I think it's totally ok for people not to like me, no apology necessary. I obviously prefer you liking me, but I think it's important for us to accept just not liking someone sometimes


badbitchfunkywitch

Matt who is your celebrity crush?


IdLikeToMakeItA

So many. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but I think a higher percentage of celebrities are attractive than other occupations. I haven't been playing too close attention to accountants, though. But I will say I watched the first episode of The Tudors because I thought it would be good historical fiction. I watched the other episodes of The Tudors because of Natalie Dormer.


whatisagoat

I think most [accountants](https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Accountant) are probably pretty attractive


IdLikeToMakeItA

Indeed


skateboard34

Hi Matt! I want to ask the age-old question: lights or voice for buzzer timing? Given the unpredictability of the guest host rotation, I'm guessing lights but I'd love to hear your buzzer experience and what you did to prepare. Thanks!


IdLikeToMakeItA

One underrated part of this: Michael, the guy who presses the button that opens the buzzer for each question, is a human being. It was pretty clear to me that his timing would change question-to-question, game-to-game, and especially day-to-day. I don't think you can do "one thing" and have it always work. I would flow in and out of both strategies, and a blend of them, at various times. That being said, I don't think I was very good at the buzzer. When we did rehearsals in the morning, the questions are really easy and are designed so that all of us know almost all of them, unlike the normal game. I would often not do all that well in these rehearsals and then do very well in the bottom rows of the real games. I read Secrets of the Buzzer and don't agree with Fritz on most of his strategies. I probably will not get quoted/blurbed in the third edition if there is one. (although I would love to argue amicably with you about it, if you're reading this!)


AngelicaIsMyName

As someone who got this book and tried to put it to use, I'd love to hear more about what you disagree on. Personally I can see how the stance he recommends isn't the best for all body types, for example.


IdLikeToMakeItA

I also think it emphasizes speed/sight too much, when sometimes you might be better off going by sound. And definitely it is important to be comfortable bouncing back and forth between them throughout the game as necessary


FritzHolz

I \*am\* reading this, delightfully, and would love to chat. And point taken on flexibility -- that's a theme that came out really strongly when I interviewed some of the All-Stars champs. One size may not fit all. I moderated (a bit, grudgingly) my stance on the lights in the third edition. Would love to hear from you about your own toolkit and your experiences with different hosts. Might even make it into an enhanced third edition. :-)


cc71cc

What's the weirdest/most awkward fan encounter you've had since the show?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I think twitter has gotten pretty weird


pokefan6016

Hey Matt, I don't have a question, but I just wanted to let you know I loved watching you on Jeopardy. I have been staying with my grandma and watching you on Jeopardy was something we both have enjoyed together. Good luck with your future endeavors!


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thank you!


LeaZaric99

Hi Matt! As you’ve said you enjoy reading a lot, I would love to know some of your favorite books and if you have any “must-read” recommendations! :-)


IdLikeToMakeItA

I like historical non-fiction, which I understand not everybody does. But for a very well written, easy-and-casual read, I highly recommend Joseph Ellis' "The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution". Fascinating, short, great.


IdLikeToMakeItA

I would just like to state that, in my (very unpopular I'm sure) opinion, the new flair situation is out of control. These are too long and too blue and take attention away from the posts themselves


whatisagoat

Hey Matt, thanks for that feedback. We had to give them a background color because they weren't visible on old reddit without one, unfortunately. Mod team will discuss.


Due-Blacksmith

For what it's worth, I find the metadata on old reddit plenty easy to read. Maybe make the font darker for more contrast? I agree that the flairs are obnoxious. Colored stuff should be super important stuff.


_erinsays_

You mentioned having a broad music taste, what other kinds of music are you into? Also, are you into jazz, R&B, rap, neo-soul, psychedelic rock, any of the like?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I'm sure this will get me all the hate I deserve, but the only genres I do not like are rap and country. I listen to classical more than anything else, though.


l-histoire-d-une-vie

Why was this the right time in your life to be on Jeopardy? What made you audition when you did?


IdLikeToMakeItA

It isn't! I think I'd do better if I was older and thus experienced more. I never thought starting to audition now would make the opportunity to go on the show so imminent


North-of-Narshe

Matt, your run was AMAZING. I just started grad school after living at home for a bit. Every night after the game, I’d call my mom at 8 and we’d talk. She’d fill me in if I missed it; otherwise we’d just talk about the game. The routine helped me a lot with missing my family. Thank you for that, and sorry if I’ve overshared.I have two questions for you, one Jeopardy-related and one not as much: 1. Edit to remove my J-themed question, since someone asked it already! It was the buzzer and lights v voice. 2. You lived in Washington, D.C. for a while, which is where I'm at school now. What was your favorite part of the city? I know your least favorite part was the escalators ;) 3. Edited again because dangit I saw a question that I *have* to know the answer to. Since you like classical music--who's your favorite composer?


IdLikeToMakeItA

DC is probably my favorite city I've lived in so far. I loved the metro. I could get from my apartment in NoVa to the museums/Mall, Georgetown bars, or silver line shopping centers without ever getting in a car. My favorite composer is probably JC Bach or Haydn, though there are plenty of others who are close!


tracetimeisthecharm

Matt, are you a fan of RuPaul's Drag Race? Seeing you answer the Jinkx Monsoon question was a highlight of your run for me!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I have not watched it, but I think RuPaul is amazingly entertaining in every interview I see on talk shows, etc... I'm not sure where I got that right from, but I was pretty amused by it as well!


wponeck

Hey Matt! My mom and I have watched Jeopardy consistently for about ten years, and after Alex Trebek died, you came along at the right time and were just what we needed to remind us how exciting the show could be. My question is, given that you played under six different hosts, how easy/difficult was it for you to adjust to a new host almost every week?


IdLikeToMakeItA

It was surprisingly easy! The host doesn't play all that big of a role in your day as a contestant, which I didn't realize beforehand


kelmit

How did you study in preparation for the game?


IdLikeToMakeItA

It's really hard to study most of the subjects. I think Ken said it best when he said something like "Jeopardy rewards a lifetime of paying attention". That being said, I am lucky that my biggest weak area (current TV/movies/music) is something very internet-focused. I did as much sporcle and other online quizzes about celebrities as I could in addition to watching and listening to infinitely more than I otherwise would have.


Another_Throwaway18

Hi Matt! Congrats on your run and thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this AMA for us. I remember you said on the show that you listen to a lot of classic rock. Do you have a favorite band, and where would Queen rank in your personal list of top bands of all time?


IdLikeToMakeItA

60s-90s classic/alt rock is my favorite genre. My favorite band is Red Hot Chili Peppers, but I also like the British Invasion stuff like the Beatles and Monkees, and a ton of 70s/80s stuff like Queen. Also a big Led Zeppelin fan. Wayne's World is one of my favorite movies, and thinking of Bohemian Rhapsody as a song separate from that is difficult


TimelordAlmanac

Hello, Matt! Congratulations on your great run and thanks for chatting with us! I have two questions: 1. Did anyone from the show ever say anything about your exclusive use of the What is/ What's format for questions, or did they basically just ignore it? 2. How does it feel to be a role model for so many people including possible future contestants? Once again, you were absolutely fantastic and fun to watch. Thanks for being a rock in a somewhat rocky time for our favorite show.


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. No comments at all, in fact I left after Game 18 for the season break and thought to myself "I wonder if anybody will notice the what's thing. Probably not." 2. I haven't really come to terms with that. I still look up to my favorite contestants and it hasn't sunk in that I am in that group for some other people. I tried to play the style of Jeopardy I would want to watch, and I will love it as a viewer if people take me up on that!


beantimebagelry

when my class played jeopardy i answered exclusively with “what’s” my team won


IdLikeToMakeItA

Proven


sayasigns

so funny that you were wondering if anyone would notice, because there was definitely "what's"-inspired murmuring among contestants in the audience while your games were taping!


IdLikeToMakeItA

That's funny, it didn't make its way to me at least!


MySummerVacation

Hi Matt! Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA! Before you were a contestant, how many questions would you get right in a typical episode just playing along at home? I've always wondered if a Super Champion would crush every board if the buzzer was taken out of the equation. Also, how were you able to stay so focused and collected through multiple days of shooting multiple episodes? I feel like that is an accomplishment in itself that doesn't get as much recognition as it should. Thank you for shepherding Jeopardy through such a period of upheaval. Congrats on all you have accomplished and I'll be pulling for you in the ToC!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I honestly don't think the self-reported numbers I've seen from people are all that accurate. I think most viewers over-estimate how many questions contestants would get right if it was a 1-person show, and people who share online are interested in perpetuating that. It is actually a little disappointing to me because I think it constructs an artificial barrier such that more people think "I'm not good enough" than need to. I loved the marathon aspect of it. I would've preferred playing 10 games a day, 7 days in a row if possible. I think time off did a lot more damage to me than playing for a long time!


badbitchfunkywitch

Matt, it was so exciting seeing some CT representation on TV. So I have to ask: Pepe’s or Sally’s?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Pepe's!


suuushi

hi matt, insect here. thanks for being so magnanimous with your time in answering the questions of us Mere Proles. 1) have you always naturally had such a fast recall for trivia? besides reading a lot, do you have ways in which you "practice" or actively work to maintain it? 2) sometimes you would buzz in even when you didn't know the answer, and still sometimes got it right. do you have an idea of what percentage of your responses were guesses vs certain answers, or is that too hard to determine?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. Watching the show every day is the best way to stay sharp. I've always had good recall of facts, which helped me in standardized tests/grade school/undergrad 2. I generally thought of it as "if I think my chance of getting it right is >50%, then buzz in because in the long run it will be a net benefit". Often there would be 3 or 4 aspects in the question and I would have a guess that fit 1 or 2 of them and would usually go with it


ajsy0905

What are your preparation for the 30th TOC by next year?


TrueBlonde

I don't have a question, but I just want to apologize to you in advance because when/if I eventually get on the show I will undoubtedly bring down the average winnings of OSU 2012 Actuarial Science grads. Actually, I thought of a question. How did you manage your nerves and stay cool under pressure? Does it come naturally to you?


IdLikeToMakeItA

Oh wow that is quite a coincidence. Were we in Dr Ban's classes together then? I was pretty nervous in my first game, including some muscle twitching which is not helpful, but I've generally been pretty good under pressure so that helps


[deleted]

[удалено]


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thanks! I feel quite strongly that it both 1. is grammatically correct and 2. doesn't matter


UpgradedUsername

Your recent [baseball/Jeopardy podcast ](https://sportsinfosolutionsblog.com/2021/10/21/new-baseball-podcast-episode-jeopardy-champion-matt-amodio/)was great and answered all of my Jeopardy-related questions. Do you have a favorite in the World Series, and will you be able to make it in person?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I don't really like either of these teams, but I think the lack of punishment by MLB itself for the Astros players caught cheating will make me want to punish them in my mind for the rest of their careers. Won't be going in person. The only WS games I've seen in person are 2016 when Cleveland was in it


spongey_espionage

Hey Matt! Thanks for giving us so much of your time. I'm a lifelong Jeopardy fan and you're my favorite contestant. Watching you on the show was the catalyst for me to decide that I want to be on Jeopardy someday! So, my question: what sorts of things do you read? I believe you've said that the best way to increase your knowledge is to read *a lot.* Do you read mostly nonfiction/history, a lot of fiction and poetry, or an even mix? Have you read encyclopedias or textbooks, either for fun or specifically to prepare for Jeopardy? How many books would you say you read per year? Do you have favorite authors and poets? Are there any sources that you feel were especially beneficial for Jeopardy? I know this is a broad question, but I'm just curious about your general philosophy on reading! Best of luck in the TOC, I'll be rooting for you all the way! Sincerely, 1/2 of @/TheAmodioRodeo on Twitter.


IdLikeToMakeItA

I really like reading Wikipedia or other "summary" type sources. There are a lot of things I don't like first hand but I like reading about (I like reading about the evolution of fashion though I own very few clothes anybody would call fashionable, I like reading about poetry more than reading poetry, I like reading about old movies more than I like watching them, I like reading about other countries but really don't like traveling very much) I still do "read" in a traditional sense, but just a lot less than that type of reading. When I read A Book, it's usually historical non-fiction. I do like fiction, though, especially short stories


eclecticmom

>I own very few clothes anybody would call fashionable Hey now :( [Day 34 outfit](https://thejeopardyfan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/matt-amodio-jeopardy-winner-october-4-2021-300x248.png) would like a word...


IdLikeToMakeItA

Thank you, I like that one, too!


bragstarr15

Matt, you were a joy to watch. Had the best time. I had posted that my husband has passed away in March and we always watched Jeopardy together, your appearance really reaffirmed my joy for the show for the first time after that. Didn’t know if you had seen in your lurking and wanted to thank you again…..I did get an anonymous award and was hoping it might have been you? In any event cannot wait to see you in the TOC!!!!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I am honored to have been able to give you any amount of happiness. I unfortunately have no idea how these reddit awards mysteriously appear, so that must have been some other very generous magician :)


INeededARedditHandle

Hey Matt, thanks for doing this AMA for our community! My family tuned in every night to watch you dominate throughout the late summer. I also found it cool to see a baseball nerd like me be so successful on the show. If there was ever an official r/Jeopardy fantasy baseball league, I'd love to play against you. As for my question... I know you've been a dedicated viewer for many decades, just as many of us are. If money was no object (and with no disrespect intended towards the wonderful guests who hosted your episodes), would you rather have had a five-day streak with Alex or would you have been happier with your 39-episode run under the different hosts?


IdLikeToMakeItA

This is one of he hardest questions I could imagine, and I'm glad I don't have to make that choice. Given the turmoil at the time, I think I was more helpful to the show this way, which is important to me.


huskergirlie

You truly made the host stress more tolerable for all of us and for that we thank you.


gagafurbohemian

Same here! Down for the r/Jeopardy fantasy baseball league! Maybe we can also tap Jeopardy James in :)?


IdLikeToMakeItA

That sounds great!


typewriterbird

Hi Matt! Thanks so much for doing this. I have a chronic illness and my world has become very small during the pandemic, but watching you on Jeopardy was a genuine source of joy for me and I’m very grateful for that. I especially appreciated your willingness to share humanizing stories about yourself—I once had a friend roll her eyes at me for making her hold my hand on an escalator, so I felt particularly vindicated to learn that you hate them too! I apologize for the non-Jeopardy-related question, but as a hardcore Blue Jays fan, I have to ask—have you ever been to the Skydome/Rogers Centre? And if so, what did you think of it? (I won’t be offended if you didn’t like it—I love it there but I’m biased and I know it’s not for everyone.) I suppose I also wanted to ask if there’s any way we could be friends? I know everyone’s been trying to converse with you and you can’t possibly sustain 50,000 new friendships, I just wanted to ask because at the moment I don’t have any friends who like Jeopardy or baseball, but you like both, so I’d totally want to be friends with you if there were a way to do so that’s less awkward than this. Sorry this is so long and sorry I talked about myself so much, but thanks again!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I haven't, but that is definitely on my list to go to soon! It is hard for me to juggle all of the new people and things in my life, but I would definitely recommend staying here on r/Jeopardy and other social media for camaraderie on the Jeopardy/baseball front. I have been truly delighted with how welcoming people can really be in this community!


Dismal-Initial-591

I’m not Matt, and I don’t know anything about baseball or any sports, but I 100% relate to how you feel about feeling isolated and friendless. I moved across the country a year ago and have had too many issues with depression and anxiety to hold a job, so I’m down to have a faceless internet friend.


spicyhabibi

Matt! You were great. Thanks for doing this :) 1) Which clue/category did you answer correctly that surprised you the most? 2) Did your recall of information improve over the course of your streak?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. There are several things where I said to myself "how the hell did I know that?" I honestly have no idea where I learned about Benjamin Banneker 2. No, I don't think so. I think I was pretty much the same person throughout, although I may have been getting more comfortable at a personal level as I won more


JaqueStrap69

Hey Matt - how much did you lurk here and read comments during your streak?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I have read basically everything on this sub for several years. Boy, you guys did *not* like me at first


clvfan

*What's* up with that?


evade1

Ooooh weeee


Jbaquero

[*Jerry Seinfeld's mom's voice* "Doesn't like you? How could anyone not like you?"](https://youtu.be/cOghP-tRZVY?t=91)


turnitoffquick

I can’t imagine how that must have felt. I hope you don’t get that impression anymore!


IdLikeToMakeItA

No, I feel very loved now. A little too loved, sometimes ;)


ajsy0905

At some point, did you want to break one of the six $100,000+ single game record set by James Holzhauer?


IdLikeToMakeItA

I never thought it was possible, and it was that game with the Turing question where I first realized "oh my goodness I am actually capable of getting to $100k in a game" Once I got that close, I definitely got an appetite for getting to a six-figure game. It was never as important to me as just keeping the streak alive, though. In the end, the prestige stat in Jeopardy will always be the win streak


ajsy0905

1. During the Season 38 premiere week taping, did you meet Trebek family, Ken, & Buzzy? 2. What is your reaction with your fellow contestant for the first taping day about The Ringer exposé on former EP Mike Richards the day before?


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. Great question! We did not get to meet them. They were doing their thing in the Jeopardy studio while the contestants were waiting in the Wheel of Fortune room which served as our greenroom. I was quite agitated by being so close to Ken in particular and not getting to meet him! 2. I did not think too much about it, because I knew whatever would happen would be out of my control. And to their credit, everybody on Jeopardy (Mike included) did a good job of going on as usual, which made that tape day remarkably similar to every other one, despite the drama going on outside.


clvfan

Hi Matt, what headline from the clickbait sites do you expect to come out your answers from this AMA?


lifesizedmap

You went on your run at age 30. Ken Jennings [u/WatsonsBitch] also went on his run at age 30. James Holzhauer went on his run at age 34. What do you think it is about being in your early-to-mid-30s that creates the best *Jeopardy* streaks?


rushtenor

Ken actually answered this before as well, he said something where you're young enough to be quick and knowledgeable about the 'younger' topics while old enough to remember some of the older stuff as well. Like if you're 30 today you'd know about snapchat/kik and old enough to remember the early days of the internet.


IdLikeToMakeItA

They can speak for themselves, but I think it's just as much of a coincidence as the fact that all three of us are demographically similar. I doubt there is a causal link, and I won't be surprised at all if the next great is a different age, gender, ethnic upbringing, etc...


Katahdin-Kathy

This is from u/InSicily1912 1. How much help does the show give you with social media ? Did they give you any advice for how to handle social media? 2. What were those moments like after your loss and you walked off stage? Who was first person you saw? 3. How did your run impact your PhD program? 4. What is the food like on jeopardy set? 5. How did you recharge on set in between games ? And from me, personally, congratulations on a memorable run! I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish you the best wherever life takes you.


IdLikeToMakeItA

1. The show gives 0 help, other than saying basically "if trolls bother you, consider hiding/deleting your accounts" 2. Awful. We hung around on the stage for a long time, including re-taping the FJ segment two or three times (I can't remember which). All of the contestant coordinators and stage workers were the first people I saw and they were all amazing as always. The best of the best are working behind the scenes there. 3. It didn't really, I've just been super busy but work has continued as normal. 4. The food is pretty good. I'm a vegetarian and there is only one meal option per day for me (3 meat ones), and they were all fine. 5. Energy drinks


ro2538man

Hi Matt! How long have you been a vegetarian? The one veggie option struggle is real!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I became vegetarian in my freshman year of college. I'm not a picky eater, so it's never been difficult :)


IdLikeToMakeItA

Also on 2: I think everyone on set was shocked more than anything when I lost


clvfan

What do you mean they had to re-tape the FJ segment?


IdLikeToMakeItA

They didn't like the way Mayim read it, they wanted different camera angles, etc... so we did the whole thing over again. This happens on FJ a lot


ReganLynch

Hi Matt: Here is a question from u/WeHaSaulFan, who may not be able to join the AMA this evening: Of all the preparation you did in the months between taking the follow up test and going on stage, what do you feel was most valuable to you? Thanks in advance.


IdLikeToMakeItA

It's really hard to study. I'm really interested in geography, and I think sporcle map quizzes aided me getting questions right quite often. Even if they hadn't, though, I had a great time doing them! There are a lot of questions like "this country northwest of Pakistan" and you just have to be very familiar with a lot of different maps to be prepared to do any given direction of any given spot at any point


mizbizsav

As a fellow Sporcler who is also obsessed with the map quizzes... I feel so validated right now.


gagafurbohemian

(Partially related to Jeopardy! in that it was a story, I think shared?) Are you still planning a trip to visit the film locations from Lord of the Rings? I think a pair of friends did a trip like this (they are huge DragonCon fans and such also) and they enjoyed it immensely! They are also foodies and documented their trip on Facebook.


IdLikeToMakeItA

Yes, although probably not for awhile given the whole pandemic thing. I assume it's no rush, as New Zealand will still be around at least another 10-20 years, maybe


TheCrookedKnight

I'm curious about your username -- one of the many things you were notorious for here was *never* saying "I'd like to make it a true Daily Double," and instead reading out the exact number you wagered. So I guess this is a dealer's choice question: anything you'd like to share about why you didn't say the thing on TV, or why you're invoking it now, would be neat!


IdLikeToMakeItA

I felt strongly about "what's". This, I don't feel strongly about. In general, catchphrases seem trite and lemming-y to me, so I have no interest in saying it. But when people started saying to me "will you just say it already?" then it became a thing, much to my surprise Edit: I will add that I think it is *hilarious* that the hosts are clearly instructed to follow-up when I say "$8000 please" with "OK, for a true daily double..." This is the kind of thing that I would make fun of as a viewer