Have ‘Streakers’ On ‘Jeopardy!’ Changed The Game For Viewers?

With the conclusion of Philadelphia-based ride-share driver Ryan Long’s winning streak this past Monday, the game show Jeopardy! has seen four ‘streakers’ this season.

For reference, a ‘streaker,’ in this setting, refers to a contestant who has won five or more games.

Long notched 16 consecutive victories, pocketing $299,400 in earnings. He now ranks 9th on Jeopardy’s Leaderboard of Legends Consecutive Games Won list.

This season, the 38th for the series, has also seen streaks by Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach.

Amodio had a 38 day streak, amassing $1,518,601. He trails only James Holzhauer ($2,520,700) and Ken Jennings ($2,462,216) in total earnings.

While also earning praise as the first transgender champion, Schneider racked up 40 wins, taking home $1,382,800 in earnings. Schneider also now holds the No. 2 spot for consecutive wins, trailing only Ken Jennings who spent 74 days on contestant’s row.

23-year-old Mattea Roach, a tutor from Canada, now has $560,983 in the bank, thanks to her streak of 23 wins this season.

For the truly obsessed fan who wants to know more about any contestant, including the streakers, a recent enhancement, the Jeopardy! Daily Box Scores, gives viewers a tactical way to see how their favorite contestants fared mathematically during their time on the show. The stats given include the number of clues a contestant attempts to ‘ring in’ for, the number of times a contestant successfully ‘locks in’ for a clue, and of course, the number of times a contestant correctly gives a responses to an answer, among other data.

Adding to the hype surrounding this season’s MVPs is the fact that all of them – Amodio, Schneider, Roach, and Long — will face off against each other in this year’s annual Tournament of Champions, set to take place in the fall.

With the unprecedented number of contestants winning consecutive games and taking home massive amounts of cash, a question arises — is ‘streaking’ good for Jeopardy?

Some say yes, that following a contestant on a quest to continue winning and amassing more and more cash is exciting. They comment that by continuing to root for a contestant they become more invested, making sure to watch every episode of the series.

However, other viewers have mentioned that if a streaker rubs them the wrong way then they just tune out until they hear that that person has exited the show.

Case in point — while some viewers mentioned on Twitter that they found Roach to be charming and enthusiastic, others were turned off by a perceived level of smugness from her.

Other viewers mentioned that they were a bit annoyed that Amodio responded with, “What is…,” to every single clue, even if the clue called for a proper name, in which case they felt he should have said, “Who is.”

Still another portion of those tuning into Jeopardy! found it charming when Long revealed that when he came to the game, he only brought two shirts and a sweater vest. He went on to give a shout out to the show’s wardrobe department for their ingenuity in making him look good during his streak.

No matter whether viewers love or hate a streaker, the feat, especially this season with multiple contestants managing to do it, has helped the decades old game get a lot of publicity, which for a series that’s been on for decades is certainly a good thing. All in all, any kind of engagement with the audience is a positive thing for Jeopardy!

Along those lines, social media has also allowed for the contestants to interact with their fans in a unique way, and hype the series as well.

Following his loss, Long posted a lengthy statement on Twitter in which he thanked “everybody who watched and supported me,” adding, “Sometimes it seems like society puts you in a box, and you are classified as a certain thing with a certain destiny, even though you may feel differently inside. For the longest time, I didn’t believe that a person could really break out of that box. But I feel like this thing that just happened is proof that you can.

“Trust yourself, hold on to your dreams,” he continued. “Take your shot, and don’t let anybody tell you can’t do this or that, or you should be doing things a certain way. As my grand mom would’ve said, never let anybody steal your shine.”

Here’s to hoping more people take their shot, if not by actually auditioning to be on Jeopardy!, by investing in the players themselves with hopefully more streakers to come.

‘Jeopardy!’ airs in syndication nationwide. For exact channels and showtimes, consult your local listings.

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