Mattea Roach extended her winning streak on Jeopardy! to 18 games on Thursday, further cementing her legacy as the most successful Canadian ever to compete on the program.
With 18 wins under her belt, Roach, a Toronto-based tutor, has the eighth highest total for consecutive wins on the program.
The 23-year-old Roach started off Thursday’s game strong, nailing four of five questions about world landmarks. By the first commercial break, she was leading both of her opponents — Renée Russell, a branch office administrator from Baltimore, and Manav Jain, an undergraduate student from Clemson, S.C.
But the game tightened up closer to end of the second round. Roach held the lead as the players went into Final Jeopardy, which featured a question about books of the 1970s.
Roach went big on her final wager and emerged the winner, winning a total of $42,001 US.
Over her 18-game and still-continuing win streak, she has won $438,183 US.
More history to be made?
Roach has been making headlines as she racks up win after win on Jeopardy! this spring.
If she manages to win yet another game on Friday, she will pull even with two other prior contestants — David Madden and Jason Zuffranieri — who each put together 19-game streaks.
At this point, no one from Canada has won more games in a row than Roach.
But competitors from Canada who came before her had impressive win streaks of their own.
Here’s a look back at a few of the multi-game winners who have spoken to CBC News over the years about their Jeopardy! adventures.
5 wins for a game show veteran
In 1988, Vancouver’s Barbara-Anne Eddy won five games on the show, bringing home $52,000 US — a haul worth more than $128,000 US today, when adjusted for inflation.
But Eddy was no trivia rookie, as she’d competed on multiple game shows over the years. (The Globe and Mail, for instance, reported she had competed on The $128,000 Question and managed to answer its namesake question.)
She appeared on CBC’s Midday after her impressive run. Host Valerie Pringle wanted to know if going on game shows was “any way to making a living.”
Eddy’s answer might have surprised people watching at home.
“You can only go so far as a game show contestant and I think, in fact, I have reached my apogee,” Eddy said.
3 wins and a Breaking Bad cameo
Kevin Wilson had been a Jeopardy! fan for many years before he made it on the show in 2009.
It would be worth the wait for the communications professional who grew up near the Canada-U.S. border, in Windsor, Ont.
“I was up against a fellow named Terry Linwood, who was a five-time champion, and things started out slow and then they went really well for me for about the second-half of the first round and the first-half of the second round,” Wilson told CBC’s Afternoon Drive in 2016.
“And then Terry found his mojo again and he caught up to me, right at the very end with the last question and unfortunately for him, and I got Final Jeopardy right and wagered everything but a buck and he got Final Jeopardy wrong and I walked out of there, almost $40,000 [US] richer that day.”
Wilson ultimately won three games on Jeopardy!, but that’s not where his moment in the spotlight ended — because his gameplay was later featured in an episode of AMC’s Emmy Award-winning crime drama Breaking Bad called “Half Measures.”
In the episode, the show’s protagonist Walter White (played by actor Bryan Cranston) and his son Walt Jr. (played by actor R.J. Mitte), watch the Jeopardy! game. Wilson is seen on screen and heard being spoken to by Trebek.
“I’m still waiting for my Emmy on that one,” Wilson joked.
The teacher who schooled his competition
Ali Hasan, a teacher from New Westminster, B.C., won three games on the program in 2018.
Like many of his fellow Canadian champions, he’d been watching Jeopardy! long before he got to hold a buzzer in his hand and stand on stage alongside Trebek, who has since died.
Trebek, in fact, dubbed Hasan a one-man Canadian invasion.
“When I was on the show, I remember two things from that time,” Hasan later recalled, speaking to CBC after Trebek’s death in 2020.
“One was how quick-witted Alex Trebek was, how fast he was in coming up with these jokes and these zingers and his wit was just amazing. And the other thing was his handshake. When we got to shake hands, his handshake, I remember, was so firm and so strong.”
3 wins and a dream come true
Ottawa’s Grant McSheffrey fulfilled a childhood dream of being on Jeopardy!.
Well, that dream came true, and he actually became a three-game champ in games that aired back in March 2017.
The software developer and Blackberry employee tweeted that he was grateful for the support he’d received during his back-to-back-to-back wins.
The 1st champ from Prince George, B.C.
Back in 2013, Matthew Church became the first contestant from Prince George, B.C., to win on Jeopardy!.
By winning the following game, he also became — by extension — the first Prince George player to be a two-time champ.
Church won more than $30,000 US and he later told CBC that the money helped him with his medical-school tuition.
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