Understanding the Buzz Behind Mattea Roach on Jeopardy!
Canadian Jeopardy! super-champion Mattea Roach returned to television screens last month as part of the show’s Tournament of Champions.
Mattea Roach, a then-23-year-old tutor based in Toronto, Ontario, wowed viewers in the spring by winning 23 games in a row.
Each Jeopardy! episode features three contestants answering trivia questions to win the most money. Those who win get to play again, and those who win at least five games qualify for the Tournament of Champions: games among the best players in the season.
Although Mattea Roach lost in the Tournament of Champions’ semi-finals, many Canadians will treasure their impact on the Jeopardy! stage.
By the end of their run on the show, they secured some impressive titles, which include:
- The longest winning streak of any Canadian contestant in Jeopardy! history
- The fifth-longest winning streak in Jeopardy! history
- The ninth largest all-time winnings in Jeopardy! history
Who is…Mattea Roach?
Mattea Roach is a 24-year-old writer and podcaster who grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
They have lived in many places in Canada, including Calgary and Moncton. However, they currently live in Toronto, where they completed their post-secondary studies.
Roach graduated from the University of Toronto, with bachelor’s degree in sexual diversity studies, political science and women and gender studies.
During university, they spent time debating in the Hart House Debating club: one of many experiences that helped gain skills useful for Jeopardy!.
During their original Jeopardy! run, they worked (and still work) as a tutor. They tutored others on the LSAT, the Law School Admission Test. Roach received their offer of admission into law school may go in the future.
Mattea Roach and Representation
Mattea Roach is an out lesbian. Identity may not affect how contestants perform on Jeopardy!, but they see the importance of identity through visible representation.
In an interview with GLAAD, Roach notes that long win streaks on Jeopardy! allow audiences to see different sides of people’s personalities. In their case, this showcases that people aren’t restricted to certain stereotypes: it gives audiences more exposure to communities they might not know very well.
On the show, contestants share small stories about themselves to the viewers. None of Roach’s stories involved their identity as an LGBTQ+ individual, however, viewers got to see what kind of person they are through their interests and fun experiences.
Viewers see them with their signature blazer looks, while they express their love for music records.
Ultimately, it makes them glad that their TV appearances held meaning for some viewers because they were a visible LGBTQ+ contestant.
“For some people that have been watching Jeopardy! for a really long time, there’s real meaning there to being out, and being your whole self,” they stated in an interview with CBC News: The National.
What’s Next for Mattea Roach?
After their semi-final placement in the Tournament of Champions, they added $10,000 USD to the $560,983 USD they won in the spring. In Canadian dollars, they won over $750,000.
They hope to use their earnings towards a home in the future, something that tends to only be a dream for many young people.
They found many opportunities through the recognition gained from Jeopardy!: they started hosting a Canadian politics podcast “The Backbench” in September, and started working on a book proposal.
Whatever the future brings for Mattea Roach, they have many different paths to choose from. Be it through their work as a writer, tutor, podcaster, or their future studies in law, they display many talents that reflect their intelligence and charm on and off television screens.