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Jeopardy! star Mattea Roach opens up about ‘isolating’ teen years & identity in tell-all interview before show return

Jeopardy! star Mattea Roach opens up about ‘isolating’ teen years & identity in tell-all interview before show return

JEOPARDY! star Mattea Roach has opened up about their difficult teenage years and experiences in a new interview.

The competitor sat down with CBC Books earlier this week to detail the books that had the biggest impact on their lives.

Courtesy of CBCMattea Roach opened up about their difficult teenage years in a new interview[/caption]

ABCThey revealed they had an ‘isolated’ as a teenager and was drawn to the books that she connected to the characters[/caption]

In the interview, Mattea shared their eight favorite novels and how they were drawn to them due to their relation to the characters.

“There’s a lot of books that I’ve read that are great, but it wasn’t what I needed to read at that time and so it doesn’t stick with you in the same way,” the Jeopardy! contestant told the publication.

They went on to list their most memorable page-turners, including one coming-of-age story they connected with the most.

“The graphic novel Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is probably the most important book that I’ve ever read in my life,” Matteo said before describing the book, which is about a young child resisting femininity while gravitating toward their tomboy lifestyle.

“I read this book for the first time when I was 18. I had a super different upbringing, but there was so much in it where I was like, ‘Oh, this is like me. This is how I feel.’ I was having that parallel experience of discovering these connections through reading the book,” they explained.

Another notable read for the trivia star was Skim by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, which they summarized as “a teen girl in the ’90s who is dealing with being an outsider in the context of going to a single-gender private school, much as I also did.”

They shared that they read the book in their early 20s, which allowed them to reflect on their high school years, dealing with similar challenges.

“Being a teenager is so isolating. That is a major theme of the book, that sense of isolation that the main character feels,” Mattea added.


The 24-year-old has come a long way since as they’ve made headlines over their impressive run on the long-running series Jeopardy!

The Gen-Z, Canadian-born tutor was a mere 23 years old when they became a super-champ (or 10-plus day winner) in Season 38.

Mattea won their first game in April 2022 and exclaimed, “all my student loans are paid off!” setting the tone for an unconventional yet captivating streak.

Critics knocked their stage presence seeing them openly voice their wager strategy and chat between clues.

One particularly memorable moment saw Mattea say with a signature wrist-flick, “I should have wagered more” after getting a Daily Double.

But as more wins came, so did the popularity – and there were some unforgettable games during their run.

One saw the champ answer Final Jeopardy alone on the stage with just host Ken Jennings, 48, due to a technicality.

The other two entered Final Jeopardy with negative scores, so they didn’t even compete.

“Has that ever happened before?” one fan wondered on Twitter at the time.

Another game saw Mattea win by the amount, ultimately losing by; $1.

By then, the TV personality had amassed the fifth-longest streak on Jeopardy! ever and sixth highest earnings.


Mattea’s on-stage Q&A stories were also often the talk of the episode.

They revealed they once sang backup in a music video with the legendary musician of “Rick Roll” fame Rick Astley.

During another Q&A, they also revealed to have seven tattoos, including two on their legs dedicated to the band The Talking Heads.

Mattea returned for the 2022 Tournament of Champions and is about to return for a third stint.

The TV star will also participate in the literary event Canada Reads 2023 later this month, endorsing the graphic memoir Ducks by Kate Beaton.

A promotional snap for the event circulated last month showing the usual cardigan-wearing competitor sporting a shorter hairstyle and a full suit and tie.

ABCMattea became a super champ on Jeopardy! during Season 28[/caption]

ABCThey amassed the fifth-longest streak on Jeopardy! ever and sixth highest earnings[/caption]

NBCThey are about to return to the show for a third stint[/caption]

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