Even the most casual “Jeopardy!” viewers may have recently seen recordings on the Internet by an extremely undisturbed Mattea Roach, who bets $ 8,000 in the “Anatomy of Words” category.
“You know what – if I bet a lot and lose today, like, anything, then I had such a good run,” the bespectacled trivia whiz current host Ken Jennings said in an episode aired earlier this week. “So let’s try to make that, frankly, $ 8,000.”
Jennings, audibly impressed by Roach’s fierce efforts, read the clue, a definition by which Roach should identify the corresponding word: “To gently tease another person.”
Roach let the clue sink in for less than a second and nodded, the answer to the tip of her tongue.
“Okay, yeah, I should have bet more,” she said with a flick of her wrist and a subtle eye roll. “What is ‘rib’?”
And with the nonchalant (and correct) answer, Roach regained his lead and won – with a bet of $ 1 – his 17th game in a row. Since that episode, the 23-year-old Canadian has won 18 matches, making her one of the series’ youngest “supermasters” (that is, she has beaten the all-time top 10 over the “Jeopardy!” Winning streak).
Her cumulative winnings now total over $ 438,000 from her 18th game, and she boasts an accuracy rate of 93% in her response, by “Jeopardy!” Her 19th match will be broadcast on Friday.
Roach is also the latest LGBTQ “Jeopardy!” super-champion after Amy Schneider’s triumphant run on the show. Schneider, a trans woman, earned more than $ 1.3 million in a 40-game winning streak earlier this year, one of the longest streaks in the show’s history.
“It has been such an honor and a pleasure to be a part of what has been such an incredible legacy from queer and trans masters,” Roach said in an interview with GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy firm. “And also just queer and trans participants, like showing up in the show and bringing a lot of flavor, I think, have been really fun for me to see as a viewer.”
Roach called Schneider a “real inspiration” for her before she began filming her series of “Jeopardy!” episodes and told GLAAD that she hoped the two could compete side by side in a future “Tournament of Champions” edition of the show.
In another first, Roach is also the series’ longest-running Canadian (after the late host Alex Trebek, of course), according to “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts.
In an interview with Roberts, Roach shared her pre-game strategy: repeating “Hail Mary” as the cameras begin to roll, a habit she acquired in a Catholic high school.
“I reckon it certainly can’t hurt – it certainly did not seem to hurt me,” Roach told Roberts.