SPOILERS: Jeopardy! champion Mattea Roach went for her 24th consecutive win on Friday — and it came down to a single dollar.
Challenger Danielle Maurer won tonight’s game by the measly sum, ending Roach’s audience captivating reign as a champion on the popular game show.
Maurer, a digital marketing manager from Peachtree Corners, Ga., finished in first place with $15,600, while Roach, a tutor from Toronto, Ontario, came in second with $15,599.
“It feels still kind of like a dream,” Roach said. “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, who was in the lead with $19,200 heading into Final Jeopardy!, wagered $3,601 and did not respond correctly, while Maurer, who had $11,400 going into the round, wagered $4,200 and did provide the correct response.
The Final Jeopardy! category was “USA,” and the clue read, “These 2 mayors gave their names to a facility built on the site of an old racetrack owned by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler.” The correct response was: “Who are William Hartsfield & Maynard Jackson?”
Roach’s 23 wins and $560,983 put her at Number 5 on both the all-time consecutive games list and the all-time highest regular season winnings list. Only Jeopardy! legends Ken Jennings, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and James Holzhauer won more games or money during their time on the show.
“When I think of the caliber 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 honor 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 Jeopardy! for the Tournament of Champions this fall.