In the end, it’s a single dollar and a clue to two American mayors who ended the Peril! champion Mattea Roach’s impressive 23-game streak.
On Friday, Roach lost his 24th match for $1 to Danielle Maurer, a digital marketing executive from Georgia, after being puzzled by Final Jeopardy.
Roach finished the match with $15,599, while Maurer – who looked stunned by his razor-thin win – finished with $15,600.
“It still feels a bit like a dream,” Roach said in a press release from the enduring quiz show.
“I really came here hoping maybe to win a game, and so I still can’t believe it. You know, it’s strange, obviously I didn’t make it in the last one, but I feel always so happy and lucky to have had this experience.”
Roach, 23, left the match with US$560,983, or about C$722,498.
Stumper Final Jeopardy
The Toronto-based tutor was leading heading into the Final Jeopardy round with $19,200. Maurer trailed with $11,400, while the third contender, operations manager Betsy Hobbs, had $7,400.
The final clue was: “These two mayors gave their name to a facility built on the site of a former racetrack owned by Coca-Cola tycoon Asa Candler.”
Maurer correctly answered William Hartsfield and Maynard Jackson. Neither Hobbs nor Roach knew the correct answer.
“It all depends on the final bet. Did you bet more than $3,600?” host Ken Jennings asked Roach as she pretended to wipe a tear from her face and turned to smile at the new champion.
Hartsfield, as Jennings noted, is the namesake of Atlanta Airport in Maurer’s home state.
“Obviously, for a Georgia native, it’s not that hard,” said Jennings, who was quick to add that the questions were written months in advance and randomly assigned.
Roach holds the title for the longest streak of any Canadian on the show.
Fans across the country have supported Roach throughout her journey, with many showing their support on social media and arguing over which city she calls “home” – Toronto or Halifax?
Roach’s response? Both. While she spent her early years in Nova Scotia and calls it home, Roach said she became deeply attached to Toronto later in her life.
Earlier in the week it was shouted in the House of Commons by Halifax MP Andy Fillmore. Her alma mater, the University of Toronto, also bragged 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 their support for the Peril! champion.
‘There are no words’
With 23 wins to his name, Roach is No. 5 on the all-time consecutive games list and on the all-time highest regular season earnings list. Only Jennings, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and James Holzhauer have won more games or money during their time on the show.
“When I think about the caliber of these four players, I really don’t feel like I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as them to be honest,” Roach said.
“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 great honor to be talked about over people. people like Ken, James, Matt, Amy. It’s, wow. There are no words.
Roach will return to play in the Peril! Tournament of Champions this fall.