After winning her eighteenth game of Jeopardy!, Mattea Roach finds the biggest challenge is coming up with something to say during the in-person segments. “It does get hard,” Mattea told Global News after winning her thirteenth episode. “I didn’t watch Ken [Jenning]’s run all the way through as a kid because I was like, five, six years old when it was happening, but I’m sure that he must have really been scraping the bottom of the barrel by the end of it.”
Mattea, 23, is poised to make history by the end of her run. She’s already the winningest Canadian on the show and the youngest super-champ in the show’s history. As she continues to rack up the wins, here’s what you should know about this trivia superstar.
Mattea Roach Is A Tutor From Canada
Mattea grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. On Apr. 28, she extended her winning streak to 18-games, for a total amount of $438,183 US.
“So my family thought it was very important that I say that I’m from Halifax,” she said in an episode, according to The Advocate. “I was there for the first six years of my life, and I also went to school there, but I’ve also lived in Calgary for a couple of years when I was younger and Moncton in New Brunswick, which is where I learned French. So I’ve been a little bit all over.”
If she wins the game on Apr. 29, she will tie David Madden and Jason Zuffranier for the sixth-longest streak in Jeopardy! history. David, an art historian, went on his run in 2005, earning $430,400. Jason, a math teacher, took home $532,496 in 2019, per Yahoo! Sports.
If Mattea continues her streak, she could pass Julia Collins, who took home $428,100 after a 20-game win streak in 2014. From there, Mattea would have a climb to beat James Holzhauer, whose 32-game winning streak in 2019 secured him all the Top 10 spots for highest single-game winnings. He took home $2,462,216 when it was all over.
She Is The Latest ‘Jeopardy!’ Superstar To Make History
Early in this season, Jeopardy! saw two epic, history-making runs. Matt Modio, a Ph.D. student from Yale, went on a 38-game winning streak, pulling in $1.5 million. His streak came to an end in Oct. 2021. His streak was then topped by Amy Schneider, who went on a 40-game streak that netted her $1.3 million. Amy is currently ranked No. 2 in most Jeopardy! games won, behind Ken Jenning’s 74-game streak from 2004.
Mattea Roach Is A Part Of The LGBTQIA+ Community
Mattea’s Twitter bio reads, “lesbian, Nova Scotian, 18x Jeopardy champ // everything that happens will happen today.”
NBC News came under fire when its official Twitter account tweeted that she was a “23-year-old lesbian tutor from Toronto,” with some fans arguing that her sexual identity shouldn’t be a factor in her success. Others made fun of the “lesbian tutor” phrase, suggesting that Mattea is tutoring lesbians. Others also said that NBC News was fair for highlighting how a member of the LBGTQIA+ community was kicking ass at Jeopardy!, and that this was a part of representation in media. The only person who hasn’t commented on this is Mattea, who seems focused on winning.
She Loves Talking Heads
With Mattea’s winnings, she could afford herself a ticket to see David Byrne’s American Utopia at the St. James Theatre in New York City. After all, Mattea is a massive fan of his former band, Talking Heads. “I really like the Talking Heads,” she said during one episode of Jeopardy!, according to The Advocate. “So I have, under both of my knees: on one leg I have ‘same as it ever was’ and on the other leg I have ‘how did I get here?’ both from ‘Once in a Lifetime.’”
She Is Proud To Represent Her Homeland
Jeopardy holds a special place in Canada’s maple leaf-shaped heart since the show’s iconic host, Alex Trebek, was born in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. “To get to represent Canada on the ‘Alex Trebek Stage’ means a lot,” Mattea told Robin Roberts during an episode of Good Morning America. “As Canadians, we’re so proud of our homegrown celebrities who made it big in the U.S. And so, it didn’t occur to me as I was taping these shows that I had become the longest-running Canadian, but I’m really honored by the support that everyone across the country has shown me. It’s so meaningful, and it fills me with so much joy.”