'Jeopardy!' clarifies rules after champion's strange habit confuses fans

·2 min read

“What is” going on with the current “Jeopardy!” champion?

Matt Amodio is currently riding a nine-game winning streak that has netted him more than $310,000, but some of the show’s fans have a bone to pick with him because he responds with “What is ... ?” or “What’s ...?” for every clue, regardless of what he answers.

For instance, he once said “What’s Updike?” when referring to author John Updike, instead of “Who’s Updike?”

Some viewers have become so puzzled by his style that “Jeopardy!” had to address the matter.

“What’s up with Matt Amodio? A lot of ‘what’s’ in his responses — and that’s totally acceptable!” the show tweeted Monday.

The show went into further detail on its website, specifically addressing Amodio, who's working toward his Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University.

“The rules state, ‘...all contestant responses to an answer must be phrased in the form of a question,’” the show said. “It's that simple. ‘Jeopardy!’ doesn't require that the response is grammatically correct.”

“So, Matt Amodio's no-frills approach is unique but well (within) guidelines,” it added.

Related video: Fans loved Mayim Bialik's stint as 'Jeopardy!' host

Amodio, who is already one of the 10 highest-earning "Jeopardy!" contestants in history, is not trying to incite controversy by answering questions in what some feel is an unorthodox fashion.

Related: “See you next week through the TV, whether you like me or hate me,” Ryan Bilger wrote after he advanced in the Tournament of Champions.

“I don't necessarily want to say too much about that. I guess I just want to say that I hope nobody's offended by it,” he told Entertainment Weekly.

“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.”

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