Canadian Jeopardy! star Mattea Roach has defeated two fellow super-champs from the last season in a friendly match.
Roach had her Tournament of Champions exhibition game on Tuesday night, when she faced off against Amy Schneider and Matt Amodio.
The Nova Scotia-born contestant won 23 consecutive games in the season that aired in the spring, ending up with a total of US$560,983 in her pocket — that’s just over $720,000 in Canadian currency. Roach also has both the fifth-longest streak in the show’s history and the fifth-highest winnings during regular-season play. When she lost her 24th game on May 6, she lost by just $1.
To no surprise, she was named to the Tournament of Champions in September.
Though no money was at stake in Tuesday’s game, in what host Ken Jennings called a “rehearsal of sorts,” Roach beat her competitors by far, finishing with $17,600 compared to Schneider’s $904 and Amodio’s $3,600.
‘Surreal’ experience for family
Roach’s parents Patti and Phil couldn’t be prouder of their daughter.
“It was remarkable,” Phil Roach said of Tuesday’s match. The whole family had the opportunity to attend the live taping of the show in Los Angeles.
“Anyone is capable of winning, but when we were watching it live, it was surreal,” he said.
“These are three of the top five players in Jeopardy! history of all time … And watching our daughter play Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider, it was mind blowing.”
Though they knew the outcome of the game, it did not dull the excitement of watching the airing of the episode on television. Roach said about 20 family members and friends came to their house in Halifax to watch.
“It’s tremendous fun … No one else in the room knew the outcome of the game, but my wife and I of course. It was a real pleasure,” he said.
The family even had themed cookies prepared by a family friend, Copper Cookies, for the watch party.
Roach said the past year has been a wild ride for his daughter.
“She really can’t go anywhere at home, and Toronto, without being recognized. She is a very private person, but she enjoys the support tremendously.”
He said Mattea has been taking advantage of all the opportunities that have presented themselves in past months, like starting a podcast and taking up writing.
But the fame hasn’t changed her, the father said.
“I think if anything, she’s more Mattea,” Roach said with a laugh.
“She has this platform now where she’s able to really seize the opportunity, express her opinion … She’s surrounded by a great group of friends,” he said. “Her core person, you know, she’s the same person. This hasn’t changed her one bit.”
The family is now looking forward to Friday’s semi-finals episode where Mattea will face off against meteorologist Eric Ahasic and software developer Andrew He. The winner of that game will advance to the finals, to play alongside winners of the other two semi-final matches with Amodio and Schneider.
Phil Roach said “there’s tremendous drama in this tournament,” echoing his daughter’s previous comments.
“They are all heavy-hitters. The gameplay is more aggressive in this tournament than it was when we were watching the regular season. And everybody is in it to win it, and everyone is capable,” he said.
Roach said the family is excited to rewatch the game, and is grateful for everyone’s support.