Watching Jeopardy! has been a little less exciting this week.
For weeks, Mattea Roach has been the talk of the town, with Haligonians coming together to cheer on the former Sacred Heart student.
The 23-year-old's 23 game winning streak came to an end last Friday when she lost in Final Jeopardy! by just $1.
Last month, Roach told CityNews Halifax her game show experience started in the fall of 2020.
As COVID cases surged, she was locked down in her parents' Halifax home and decided to take an online test to see if she could become a contestant.
That led to an audition process involving trial games over Zoom.
Then in January of this year, she finally got called to L.A. where she tempered her expectations.
"I thought I was going to lose in the first game," Roach told Maurie Sherman of The Roz & Mocha Show on Toronto radio station Kiss 92.5. "Just statistically, that's what's likely to happen."
"One win or more would have been a huge bonus."
Her first episode aired on Tuesday, April 5. She won $32,001, declaring to host Mayim Bialik, "my student loan is paid off."
After an additional 22 victories, Roach racked up a total of $560,983, giving her the fifth-longest win streak and the fifth-highest earnings in the show's regular season. She also has the longest winning streak of any Canadian on the quiz show.
A chunk of that money will be lost to taxes, however the exchange rate should soften the blow. But don't expect her to spend it all on a yacht, a Porsche or a trip to space.
"I'm going to be really boring with the winnings to be honest," Roach said.
"I am now planning on going back to school ... that's something at some point this money will help me do," she added. "I just kind of want to sit on the money for a couple of years, figure out what it is that I'm doing and where it is I want to eventually get settled, and then hopefully use this money as part of a down payment. Hopefully the housing market doesn't get even crazier between now and like five years from now."
Roach said one of the most difficult aspects of the last few weeks was not being able to tell others how her run was going to turn out.
"It was helpful that some people knew ... but there were extended family who were wanting to read into every little thing that my parents were saying to try and guess when I was going to be eliminated."
"And a lot of people guessed wrong. A lot of people thought it was the game immediately prior to the one that I ended up losing because I had that come-from-behind moment."
In that game, she entered Final Jeopardy! with $13,000, trailing her opponent by $9,600.
She squeaked out the win by wagering $12,999 and solving the clue because her competitor wasn't able to guess the answer.
Roach currently lives in Toronto, working as an LSAT tutor, but she doesn't plan on using her popularity to increase her rates.
"I work for a company with a set rate, so I don't think I'm allowed to charge more," she laughed. "And it's already too expensive to get LSAT tutoring as it is. The last thing I need I to do is to make it less affordable for people."
In the radio interview Roach offered up some behind the scenes insights, for instance, what happens if you have to go to the bathroom during the game?
"You pee before," she laughed. "You would never make that mistake."
"I don't think I ever once had to use the washroom during the game, because literally one the last things I would do before playing was go to the washroom."
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In addition to her hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings, Roach walked away from the game show with some lovely parting gifts.
"At least while I was there, everybody got a Jeopardy! branded tote bag, and also a baseball cap that has the Jeopardy! logo on the front and then it says 'get a clue' on the back," she said.
"I have yet to wear that in public because i feel like it's the most conspicuous thing I could wear."
Mattea fans can look forward to her Jeopardy! return this fall during the show's Tournament of Champions.