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Jeopardy! star Mattea Roach shares big personal news and says they can’t ‘talk about anything else’

Jeopardy! star Mattea Roach shares big personal news and says they can’t ‘talk about anything else’

JEOPARDY! sensation Mattea Roach has revealed they’re buzzing over a special announcement and it’s all that’s on their bright mind.

The 24-year-old, who nearly beat James Holzhauer in May’s Jeopardy! Masters tournament shared their news on Twitter.

GettyJeopardy! star Mattea Roach celebrated that their favorite band The Talking Heads is coming to Canada[/caption]

Twitter / Mattea RoachMattea has Talking Heads lyrics tattoed on their legs: ‘Same as it ever was’ and ‘How did I get here’[/caption]

Mattea is extremely excited that one of their favorite bands is reuntiting, near their home town in Toronto, Canada no less.

On Wednesday, Toronto International Film Festival announced that the re-release of Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads’ iconic 1984 concert film, will be screened with all four original members doing a Q&A.

TIFF posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Talking Heads reunite at #TIFF23 for the World Premiere global IMAX LIVE event of @A24’s 4K restoration of Jonathan Demme’s STOP MAKING SENSE.”

“Following the screening, all four original members will join Spike Lee in person at TIFF for a special Q&A.”

The sixth-winningest regular play Jeopardy! contestant ever- who is non-binary and prefers to go by the pronouns they/them- was all-in.


Mattea quote-tweeted the news and wrote: “I am not going to talk about anything else for the next four weeks I fear.”

“I have never needed to be at an event more in my life.”

One fan replied: “Love them. One of my all time favorite bands, ever!”

Five-day champion Luigi de Guzman wrote: “My reaction to this news” with a Gif of David Byrne dancing is his signature giant suit.

“That’s so very.. Canadian of you,” joked a third.

A fourth wrote: “Oh wow. Having seen the original release, opening night, in L.A., I would LOVE to experience this again, with all of the originals! What a GREAT thing!”

Talking Heads consists of Byrne, 71, drummer Chris Frantz, bassist Tina Weymouth (who is married to Frantz) and keyboardist and guitarist Jerry Harrison.

The band has only played together once since Byrne abruptly left in 1992, according to People– so even though they aren’t performing live it’s a big deal.


During one of Mattea’s earliest interviews during their initial 23-game run in 2022 with host Ken Jennings, Mattea revealed they had two leg tattoos dedicated to the band.

“I really like the Talking Heads,” they shared.

“So I have under both of my knees – on one leg I have ‘same as it ever was’ and on the other leg I have ‘how did I get here’”

“Both from [the song] Once In A Lifetime,” they explained.

Fans related as one tweeted at the time: “I have 7 tattoos! Really great for Mattea. knew I loved them!”

“They has great desire for music!,” another fan gushed.

The Talking Heads are clearly important to Mattea – when they did a 2022 AMA on Reddit, it was titled “How did I get here?” from the same classic song.

Mattea has around nine tattoos total, including a literal roach (which would appear to be a nod to their last name), scorpion, cherub, cowboys, a rose and two “playful” cowboys.

Mattea also loves new wave music in general and were so excited to see the band Kraftwerk with their late father last year.

“After ten years of talking about it, I am finally going to see Kraftwerk with my dad,” Mattea tweeted in 2022 while all smiles with their dad.

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

Mattea also went record shopping after Masters for self-care: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom… go to the record store and get yourself a treat! You’ll feel better after,” they tweeted.


James Holzhauer won the Jeopardy! Masters crown and $500,000 by the thinnest of margins in a fierce finale.

Mattea lost by 2100 combined points after James made a slightly savvier Final Jeopardy wager- they were leading up until the very last question.

The 32-time winner and pro gambler was pushed to the brink, all while Mattea was reeling from the sudden loss of their father at their family home while filming.

Mattea went home with $250,000 for second place, and Matt Amodio $150,000 for placing third.

James whispered, “Your dad would be so proud of you” and went over and hugged Mattea when declared the champion.


Phillip Henry Roach died of a brain aneurysm on May 2, 2023 at their family home in Canada while Mattea was “at the set of Jeopardy!.”

Mattea tearfully revealed the loss on stage saying at one point they were dedicating their performance to him.

“My dad passed away at the start of the month very suddenly. He’s a huge part of the reason why I’m here.”

“He and my mom instilled an early love of geography in me. My dad taught me all about Turner Classic Movies and old movies.”

“So I wanted to recognize the impact he had on my life.”

“And also recognize, I was actually here at the set when my dad died.”

James tweeted after winning the title: “Mattea’s performance would have been unbelievable in the best of times.

Considering everything they went through this month, this was the gutsiest Jeopardy! achievement since Cindy Stowell’s [who won the 2016 ToC but died of cancer before it aired].

An absolute, star-making masterclass in how to play the game.

“I’m lucky the scores were even this close entering Final. I benefited from more luck in the end. But no one will forget Mattea’s #JeopardyMasters dominance.”


The Gen-Z, Halifax, Nova Scotia-born contestant was a mere 23 years old and working as a tutor for law students when they became the youngest super-champ (or 10-day-plus winner) in history in 2022.

They graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in sexual diversity studies, political science, and women and gender studies. 

Mattea amassed 23 wins- the fifth-longest streak on Jeopardy! ever and sixth highest regular gameplay earnings of $566,000K.

Their $250,000 Masters win puts them around $810,000 of overall winnings.

Mattea won their first game on April 15, and exclaimed “all my student loans are paid off!” setting the tone for an unconventional yet quite 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 Ken, 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.

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

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

Mattea now works as a podcaster and writer in Canada and is considering law school.

Mattea’s third stint followed the 2022 Tournament of Champions but they were summarily eliminated by Andrew He.


Jeopardy!’s boss also corroborated the jaw-dropping tidbit about Mattea after Masters, they went in and have always gone into Jeopardy! cold.

“Mattea spends zero time, and has spent zero time ever practicing for this show.”

“They don’t learn trivia, they dont read trivia books, they dont sit on the floor in the children’s book department like James [Holzhauer- who famously studied children’s general knowledge books].

“Everything they know is from reading, sitting in front of the TV, reading newspapers, and being in front of intelligent people.”

Davies lauded: “Mr. and Mrs. Roach were so involved in that, and get so much credit in their broad liberal arts education.”

“It just shows their potential,” Davies added.

AlamyThe band is reuniting in Toronto for a Q&A after screening Stop Making Sense- Mattea tweeted: ‘I have never needed to be at an event more in my life’[/caption]

ABCMattea became the talk of Jeopardy! after nearly beating the formidable James Holzhauer on Jeopardy! Masters[/caption]

Twitter / Mattea RoachThey did so while reeling from the sudden passing of their father ‘while filming the tournament’ – Mattea and Phillip took this photo before seeing the band Kraftwerk[/caption]

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