It’s been less than a week since Mattea Roach, a Toronto resident originally from Halifax, first became Jeopardy! champion-and she endeared herself immediately to people across the continent.
After four wins totaling $104,600, the newest pride of Nova Scotia is now aiming for five wins in a row Monday evening.
This time, she’ll be taking the stage with show host Ken Jennings – who knows a thing or two himself about Jeopardy! winning streaks.
“We’re proud. We’re really thrilled that people are getting behind her,” said Phil Roach, Mattea’s father, who has been watching each episode back home in Halifax with his wife Patti. “I have to tell you, I don’t know how I would make it through each show if I didn’t know a little bit about what was going to happen. Of course, we’re sworn to secrecy.”
Mattea’s father says her biggest fans might be grandparents Rolly and Patsy MacKinnon in Ingonish Ferry, NS He adds they have watched Jeopardy! each night religiously, long before Mattea came on the show.
“They have a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren…So, to see one of them on TV is a super thrill for them,” Phil Roach said.
Mattea’s father says, for how brilliant she’s been on the show, there’s something else he’s just as proud of.
“How well she’s doing with all of the attention because it’s a bit of a whirlwind,” he said. “It kind of can be overwhelming, and it was a little unexpected as ella she’s won a couple of games to see how the media interest has grown. But ella she’s really handling it well.”
A win Monday would not only complete Mattea’s “Drive for Five,” it would also officially clinch her a spot in the Tournament of Champions.
During Monday’s episode, Mattea will face off against Vanessa McCombs from Manassas, Va., and Michael Wohlman from Austin, Texas.