Today’s “Final Jeopardy!” question: This actor from Coral Gables, Florida, was defeated in Tuesday night’s broadcast but not before setting his own “Jeopardy!” winning streak record.
The answer, of course, is Jonathan Fisher, who defeated champ Matt Amodio in an episode of the popular game show broadcast earlier this month.
Nancy Donehower, a retired college admissions counselor from Portland, is the new “Jeopardy!” champion. Fisher finished second, which earns $2,000 as consolation. Third-place contestants collect $1,000.
It was a close one, but we have a new Jeopardy! champ: Nancy Donehower!
Congrats to Jonathan Fisher on his 11-game run, we'll see him in the next Tournament of Champions! pic.twitter.com/z2WOM3JLnQ
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) October 27, 2021
Fisher had ended Amodio’s $1.5 million, 38-day streak, which was enough to ensure Fisher’s place in pop culture history.
“Overall, the reaction has been really great and positive,” Fisher said in an email to the Miami Herald after his final episode aired. “There are always people, especially anonymously online, that want to tear down your accomplishments, and I’ve seen a bit of that myself. But my reaction to stuff like that is mostly bemusement. The majority reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, from friends and family and from strangers online. It’s been very fun to relive the run through other people’s eyes.”
“Jeopardy!” shows are generally taped about three months before airing, and five episodes are filmed each day at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.
With Fisher’s own 11-day streak, he set his own “Jeopardy!” record and ensured himself a return visit to the competition’s next “Tournament of Champions” series of episodes that could air some time in 2022 once 15 champions qualify for the rounds. Tournaments are filmed about a month before air date.
▪ He set a “Jeopardy!” record. When Fisher, who now lives in California with his partner, Anna Miles, won his 10th game on an episode broadcast Friday, it was the first time in the 57-year-old show’s history that it has had back-to-back champions who had won at least 10 games, host Mayim Bialik said.
(“Jeopardy!” was created by the late Merv Griffin and debuted on NBC’s daytime lineup in March 1964. But the syndicated nighttime version most everyone is familiar with and hosted by the late Alex Trebek, debuted in 1984.)
It's the first time in Jeopardy! history that we've had back-to-back double-digit champs! Will Jonathan continue his impressive run? pic.twitter.com/B07BKVL07a
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) October 25, 2021
▪ He’s made the “Jeopardy!” Top 10. On Monday’s taped broadcast, Fisher added $16,000 to his total to bring his 11-day winnings to $246,100. That ties him with Arthur Chu for 10th place on the list of consecutive victories, Today reported.
Apparently, there is no hard feelings from the man Fisher had beat. After Fisher’s final regular episode aired Tuesday night, Amodio tweeted a congratulatory message to Fisher. The two have become Twitter buddies.
“Congratulations @JFishtheDish on a tremendous #Jeopardy accomplishment, achieved with both class and style. Well done!” Amodio posted.
— Matt Amodio (@AmodioMatt) October 27, 2021
Fisher tweeted his own congrats to the new champ and noted how his “Jeopardy!” fave, Ken Jennings, also was vanquished by a contestant named Nancy — as in Nancy Zerg, a real estate agent and former actress, who ended Jennings’ 74 winning games streak in 2004.
“Congrats to Nancy (quite a name for a streak-stopper, eh @KenJennings?) for a great game and a well-deserved win,” Fisher posted. “This has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”
That's it for my run on @Jeopardy! Congrats to Nancy (quite a name for a streak-stopper, eh @KenJennings?) for a great game and a well-deserved win. This has been one of the best experiences I've ever had, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.
— Jonathan Fisher (@JFishtheDish) October 27, 2021
A winner’s advice
So you want to follow Fisher to the “Jeopardy!” winners’ circle? Here’s what the champ says you ought to do first.
“My best advice is to have fun! ‘Jeopardy!’ is a game after all, and the stakes are pretty low — the worst thing that can happen at the end of a show is that you go away with $1,000,” he said.
“Preparation-wise, I say: watch TV! Watch movies! Read books! Listen to podcasts! Information and stories are all around us, and it’s been 30 years of absorbing as much as possible that’s helped me succeed on ‘Jeopardy!’” Fisher said.