‘Jeopardy!’ Explains Why Matt Amodio’s Strange Answering Style Isn’t Against the Rules

The show steps in after viewers called out the current nine-day champion


“Jeopardy!” has cleared up some confusion about its rules amidst the controversy over current champion Matt Amodio.

In case you’re not familiar with “what’s” been happening on the beloved quiz show, some viewers became concerned with Amodio’s method of answering each of his questions with “what’s” or “what is,” even when the answer involved a person.

The “Jeopardy!” Twitter account stepped in on Monday, tweeting, “What’s up with Matt Amodio? A lot of ‘what’s’ in his response — and that’s totally acceptable!”

The tweet included a link to the rules on the show’s official website, which read, “Over the many years that Jeopardy has been on the air, we’ve experienced some rare scenarios that require us to refer back to the official rules of the game.

“Streaking champ Matt Amodio has received a lot of attention lately for his unorthodox use of ‘What’s…?’ as a template for all responses — be they animal, vegetable or mineral. Viewers and grammar police alike have a lot of questions about what’s acceptable. We’ve got some answers.”

According to the site, “The rules state, ‘…all contestant responses to an answer must be phrased in the form of a question.’ It’s that simple. Jeopardy! doesn’t require that the response is grammatically correct. Further, the three-letter name of a British Invasion rock band can be a correct response all by itself (‘The Who?’), and even ‘Is it…?’ has been accepted. So, Matt Amodio’s no-frills approach is unique but well within guidelines.”

Additionally, it advised that “if Matt’s abbreviated style is acceptable, is it okay to go in the other direction and get a little creative with phrasing? The short answer is yes. But don’t.”

Responding to the “Jeopardy!” tweet, Amodio wrote, “Diehard #jeopardy fans like me carry a copy of the official rules at all times, anyway.”

Amodio addressed the criticism in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, stating that as a staunch “Jeopardy!” fan, he was in no way attempting to offend anyone or insult the integrity of the show.

“I don’t necessarily want to say too much about that,” he said. “I guess I just want to say that I hope nobody’s offended by it. I do hear some people say that it’s disrespectful to the game, and I would counter that if there was a ‘Jeopardy’ fan club ranking, I think I would have a strong case to be number one ‘Jeopardy’ fan. I live and breathe the show, I love every aspect of it, and so I’m definitely not doing it out of any disrespect or undermining of the show.”

The 30-year-old contestant is currently in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, winning $310,000 to date and becoming one of the top 10 highest-winning champions ever.


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