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‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Speaks on Being ‘Successful Woman’ on the Show

by Caitlin Berard
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(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

Throughout its nearly 40 years and 38 seasons, Jeopardy! has had a number of impressive competitors. As Ken Jennings once said, just getting on the show is a challenge in itself. That said, only a handful of contestants stand out amongst the rest.

In terms of win streaks and overall winnings, Brad Rutter, Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, Matt Amodio, and Amy Schneider are head and shoulders above the competition. Though each of these competitors is as impressive as the last, 80% of them are men. Now, however, Mattea Roach has joined their ranks, earning her place on both the all-time consecutive Jeopardy! games and all-time highest regular season winnings lists.

Though her streak came to an end in the most recent episode, Mattea Roach is now in the Jeopardy! history books with an incredible 23 consecutive wins and more than $500,000 in winnings. In an interview following her crushing $1 loss to Danielle Maurer, Roach opened up about what it means to be a successful woman on the game show, exceeding the record of her Jeopardy! hero, Julia Collins.

“The reason why Julia is a player that I really liked is that I think she played in a manner that was quite straightforward. Like, she did, you know, kind of top down,” Roach explained. “She wasn’t bouncing around all over the place. And I really like champions that show that you can win that way.”

“The other thing as well is like it means a lot to be a successful woman on Jeopardy!,” Roach continued. “I think for such a long time, it’s been all of these G.O.A.T.s that are men and they’re wonderful and they’re amazing players. But like, why is it all men? And, you know, now there’s Amy and, farther behind, me.”

Mattea Roach Reflects on Her Time as ‘Jeopardy’ Champ

In Mattea Roach’s very first appearance on Jeopardy, the young champ won $30,000, which she tearfully explained she was going to use to pay off her student loans. Twenty-three games and over $500,000 later, Mattea Roach can hardly believe her time on the game show was real.

In her interview following her $1 loss, Roach got emotional once again as she reflected on what her time as Jeopardy! champ meant for her life. “I’m trying not to cry because my student loan debt being paid off was the biggest possible thing that I could have dreamed of when I came down here,” Roach said. “And so, to have that happen in the first game was just the most incredible feeling.”

“I felt like everything else after that was just going to be basically playing for fun,” Roach continued. “And, you know, play every game like it’s your last. And that’s what I tried to do. I really tried to fight til the end, and I can’t even fathom this amount of money. I don’t know what it is in Canadian dollars, but this is like…it’s unbelievable.”

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