Nova Scotian Jeopardy! fans are celebrating, after a local talent won big on the game show.
Mattea Roach, a 23-year-old Nova Scotian now living in Toronto, won $32,001 on Tuesday night’s episode — beating out the other two competitors.
During the Double Jeopardy! round, Mattea got a question about Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers correct, and made a point of saying she “couldn’t get it wrong” because it was her home province.
She returns Wednesday night to defend her title.
Roach graduated from the Sacred Heart School of Halifax in 2015, and her family still lives in Halifax and Cape Breton.
Roach took to Twitter to announce she would be on the show Tuesday.
She tweeted she felt “incredibly supported” after her family living in Marion Bridge, N.S., posted a sign on their grocery store, wishing her good luck on the show.
Mattea’s mom Patti Mackinnon said she as excited for her daughter, with “a little bit of healthy anxiety.”
MacKinnon said being on Jeopardy! wasn’t a long-time dream for Mattea, but it’s something she set her mind to during the pandemic.
“What she was saying was that she really misses competing,” MacKinnon said.
Roach used to compete in debate while in high school and university, “at quite a high level,” according to MacKinnon.
“She’s very into knowledge. She wants to learn everything she can about everything she can.”
Though her daughter’s desire to be on the show didn’t come as much of a surprise, MacKinnon said she was ecstatic to find out Mattea had been cast.
“I was like beyond excited. I was just so thrilled she was going to have that opportunity.”
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The family found out Roach would be on Jeopardy! back in January, and three weeks later she had to be in Los Angeles to tape. But, they had to keep it a secret up until two weeks ago.
“We’ve been waiting for quite a long time… As we approached the day of airing, it’s super exciting.”
She said her family is “very much a fan of the show,” though MacKinnon admitted they’ve been watching it less frequently since the passing of Alex Trebek.
“But we’re definitely super-fans back again now, and have been watching every day,” she said.
MacKinnon said she doesn’t know anyone else who has been on Jeopardy!, so the family now feels like they’re a part of an exclusive club, she joked.
Though she couldn’t reveal how Mattea did in the competition, she said her daughter loved the experience.
“She said her whole experience was very wonderful. The production team was super-fantastic, so that’s all we can hope for.”
In a message to Global News, Roach’s aunt Amy described her as “a rare gem of a Jeopardy contestant.”
“We are so excited!,” her aunt wrote.
Tuesday night, Roach faced off against California-based high school teacher Camron Conners and government contractor Kathleen Snyder from Virginia.
Many former Jeopardy! contestants came to wish Roach good luck too.