'Jeopardy!' Champ Matt Amodio Says Ken Jennings' Top Spot 'Feels Far Away'

Jeopardy! champ Matt Amodio is currently the man of the hour as he continues to break records, but he insists he still has a steep hill to climb in order to catch up with Ken Jennings.

On Friday night's episode of the quiz show, the Yale Ph.D. student was seen hitting another major milestone when he surpassed James Holzhauer's second-place Jeopardy! record with 33 consecutive victories.

And with $1,267,801 as his current cash prize, it would be easy to assume that the Ohio native has his eye on taking Jennings' position as the greatest contestant of all time, a spot he took in 2004 with 74 wins and $2,520,700 in earnings.

But in an interview with Newsweek, Amodio, 30, has admitted that Jennings' total of games won looks just as daunting a target to catch as it did on the first day he competed on the show.

"Ken feels as far away now as it did from Game 1," Amodio said over email. "I feel like I've been put through the gauntlet over and over and over again... and I'm not even half-way there! Ken is the GOAT for a reason!"

Such is Amodio's admiration for Jennings that he lists the TV personality among the biggest celebrities who have reached out to him since his win streak started over the summer.

"I have had Ken and James [Holzhauer] tweet out to me, which makes me feel so honored," he said. "They are legends, and them deigning to say something about me is a huge compliment."

Joking that he's "waiting" for celebrated former Jeopardy! contestant Brad Rutter to send a tweet in his direction, Amodio went on: "Just last night I had Michael McKean tweet a joke about me, and that was such a huge thrill as I'm a huge fan!

"I also got a shout out for getting a Black Keys question right from Michelle Branch. It's fun to get acknowledged by artists you like."

Even when asked if there are any public figures he hopes to meet as a result of his run on the show, Amodio keeps his dreams within the fold of the Jeopardy! family.

"I have still not actually met Ken or James, but I would absolutely love to," he said. "I also hope to meet some of the guest hosts I had again if they'll have me on their shows!"

With his streak beginning in Season 37, when a number of celebrities were trying out to replace the late, great Alex Trebek, Amodio kicked off Season 38 with Mike Richards' brief stint as presenter, before Mayim Bialik took the helm.

It has since been announced that Bialik will split hosting duties with Jennings for the remainder of the calendar year—a prospect Amodio is relishing.

"Meeting Ken under any circumstances would be a dream, but [having] it be under these circumstances would be Rudy-levels of perfection," Amodio told Newsweek. "And as a fan, I loved him as a host. Seeing him on a Jeopardy! stage is like seeing a polar bear in the snow: it just looks right."

"Jeopardy!" stars Matt Amodio and Ken Jennings
Current "Jeopardy!" champ Matt Amodio (L) continues to see Ken Jennings' top all-time record on the show as "far away," after landing in second place with his own win streak. Jeopardy!/YouTube;/Gary Gershoff/Getty Images