In the end, it was a single dollar and a clue about two American mayors that ended Canadian Jeopardy! champ Mattea Roach’s impressive 23-game streak.
On Friday, Roach lost her 24th game by $1 to Danielle Maurer, a digital marketing manager from Georgia, after being stumped by Final Jeopardy.
Roach ended the game with $15,599, while Maurer — who appeared astounded by her razor-thin win — finished with $15,600.
“It feels still kind of like a dream,” Roach said in a news release from the enduring quiz show.
“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.”
Roach, 23, left the game with $560,983 US, which is approximately $722,498 Cdn.
Final Jeopardy stumper
The Toronto-based tutor was in the lead heading into the Final Jeopardy round with $19,200. Maurer trailed with $11,400, while the third contestant, operations manager Betsy Hobbs, had $7,400.
The final clue was: “These two mayors gave their names to a facility built on the site of an old racetrack owned by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler.”
Maurer correctly answered William Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson. Neither Hobbs nor Roach knew the right answer.
“It all comes down to the final wager. Did you wager more than $3,600?” host Ken Jennings asked Roach as she pretended to wipe a tear from her face and turned to grin at the new champ.
Hartsfield, as Jennings noted, is the namesake of the Atlanta airport in Maurer’s home state.
“Obviously for a Georgia native that’s not so hard,” said Jennings, who quickly added that questions are written months in advance and assigned at random.
Roach holds the title for the longest run of any Canadian on the show.
Fans across the country have been rooting for Roach throughout her journey, with many showing her support on social media and fighting over which city she calls “home” — Toronto or Halifax?
Roach’s answer? Both. While she spent her early years in Nova Scotia and considers it her home, Roach has said she became deeply attached to Toronto later in life.
Earlier in the week, she got a shout-out in the House of Commons by Halifax MP Andy Fillmore. Her alma mater, the University of Toronto, also boasted about her wins and her time at the school.
In the community of Marion Bridge on Cape Breton Island, Roach’s great-aunt and uncle regularly updated the signage outside their grocery store to show support for the Jeopardy! champ.
Back in the homeland so I had to pay a visit to some of my earliest hardcore supporters! <a href=”https://t.co/cOJw8ehi6L”>pic.twitter.com/cOJw8ehi6L</a>
‘There’s no words’
With 23 wins under her belt, Roach is No. 5 on both the all-time consecutive games list and the all-time highest regular season winnings list. Only Jennings, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and James Holzhauer 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,” said Roach.
“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. It’s, wow. There’s no words.”
Roach will return to play in the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions this fall.