FINAL JEOPARDY: Canadian Mattea Roach bows out after 23-show streak

Canadian will return for Tournament of Champions this fall

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Perhaps it’s fitting that it all came down to a loonie for Jeopardy! sensation and Canadian superstar Mattea Roach.

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One dollar. Not counting the Canada-U.S. currency exchange rate, that was the difference between moving on and going home on Friday night. Ultimately, the 23-year-old Toronto tutor was short by a buck in her quest to make it 24 wins on the popular game show.

Roach, who is originally from Nova Scotia, was in the lead with $19,200 heading into Final Jeopardy! and wagered $3,601. She didn’t respond correctly. Challenger Danielle Maurer, a digital marketing manager from Peachtree Corners, Ga., took $11,400 into the round and wagered $4,200. Her answer was correct and on Monday she’ll be the new defending champ.

The Final Jeopardy! category was “USA” and the clue read: “These mayors gave their names to a facility built on the site of an old racetrack owned by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler.” The correct response: Who are William Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson?

“It feels still like a dream,” Roach said in a news release. “I really came down here hoping to maybe win one game and so I still can’t believe it. You know, it’s strange, obviously I didn’t come through in the last one, but I still feel so happy and so lucky to have had this experience.”

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Roach will likely be just fine having come up a loonie short. She departs with some serious coin after earning US$560,983 over 24 airings of the Los Angeles-based show, co-hosted by 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings and actress Mayim Bialik.

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Roach, a graduate of the University of Toronto, captured the imaginations of many throughout her five-week run on the show that winds down with her owning fifth place on the all-time list for consecutive games won. Only legends Jennings, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio and James Holzhauer have won more games or money during their time on the show.

“When I think of the calibre of those four players, I really don’t feel like I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as them to be honest,” Roach said. “And there’s a noticeable financial gap between my money and theirs, but it’s an amazing accomplishment. Like, I can’t believe it. It’s such a huge honour that I am being spoken of in relation to people like Ken, James, Matt, Amy. There’s no words.”

Roach isn’t done yet. She’ll return for the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions this fall.

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