Mattea Roach Final Jeopardy Question Ends in Heartbreak

Mattea Roach just lost Jeopardy! by one dollar, ending her 23-game streak as one of the top 5 players of all time. Roach has won a total of $560,983 in her time on the trivia show, making her one of the game's longest-running and highest-earning champions all at once. She was finally dethroned in a "Final Jeopardy" round where she started with a considerable lead.

Roach has answered all manner of obscure clues in her weeks on Jeopardy, but the one that finally ended her streak asked her to name the two mayors of Atlanta, Georgia whose names are on a facility built on a former racetrack in the area. Roach wrote down: "Who are Churchill and Downs? idk," which was not correct. One of her opponents had also guessed incorrectly, but the second-place contestant, Danielle Maurer had it right. She wrote down: "Who are Hartsfield and Jackson?"

The real kicker was the way the math played out here. Going into "Final Jeopardy," Maurer had $11,400 while Roach had $19,200. Maurer wagered $4,200 and won, bringing her score to $15,600. Roach wagered $3,601, bringing her score down to $15,599 — a one-dollar loss.

Maurer seemed more surprised than anyone, crying out in shock when the scores were settled. Afterward, Roach reflected on her streak saying that she had no real regrets and that she was proud of how far she had come. She said: "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 is now the fifth-highest-earning Jeopardy player and the fifth-longest-running champion. The players ahead of her include Ken Jennings, Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio and James Holzhauer. She said: "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. 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 made headlines after her first victory on Jeopardy when she revealed that she would be spending all of her winnings on paying off her student loans. After her streak ended, she said: "I really came down here hoping to maybe win one game and so I still can't believe it." Roach has already been selected to return to Jeopardy for the Tournament of Champions next fall. Until then, fans can keep up with her on Twitter.