‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Who Beat Mattea Roach Tried to Get on the Show ‘for More Than 15 Years’

Mattea Roach’s 23-game winning streak on Jeopardy! came to an end on May 6. Defeated by Danielle Maurer from Georgia, the Canadian native will return for the Tournament of Champions this fall. Maurer lost her third game to children’s book editor Mallory Kass but walked away with a jackpot close to $30,000 after her two victories, and recently shared how long it took her to make it to the Jeopardy! stage.

Mattea Roach of 'Jeopardy!'
Mattea Roach of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Photo credit: Jeopardy!

Danielle Maurer outscored ‘Jeopardy!’ champ by $1

Roach had $19,200 going into Final Jeopardy! on May 6 and bet $3,601. Maurer went into the final round with $11,400 and risked $4,200. The clue? “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 answer of “Who are William Hartsfield & Maynard Jackson?” came easily to the Atlanta native, while Roach responded incorrectly leaving her with $15,599, $1 less than Maurer.

“I was just standing up there with my pen and paper thinking this is the most important math that I will ever do in my life,” Maurer said, according to Jeopardy.com. “I knew Mattea would bet to defend. She will bet as if I’m going to bet everything. So if she gets it right, I lose. There’s no win scenario there for me. So, I’m going to bet as if she gets it wrong because that’s the only chance realistically that I am going to have.”

The digital marketing manager was stunned that the clue was related to her home town. “I did not expect to win going in there until they revealed her answer, and then I could just feel my heart start pounding,” Maurer remarked. “I’m from Atlanta, I’ve lived here for almost ten years. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the airport I fly out of constantly. So, I looked at that clue like surely it can’t be that easy, can it?”

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‘Jeopardy’ was a goal for Danielle Maurer

Maurer revealed that getting a crack at the quiz board has been a longtime dream for her and she has spent over a decade in pursuit of the Jeopardy! podium.

“I have been trying to get on the show for more than 15 years,” she shared. “This is something that I’m going to carry with me the rest of my life. It means more to me than I can say.”

With season 38 featuring several winning streaks by players including Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider, Maurer was preparing to go up against a potential super-champ.

“I had been following the season,” she explained. “I knew about Matt. I knew about Amy. In fact, Amy’s episodes were airing when I got the call. So, we sort of practiced as if I was playing against Amy.”

Danielle Maurer of 'Jeopardy!'
Danielle Maurer of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Photo credit: Jeopardy.com

Danielle Maurer was clearly ecstatic about her ‘Jeopardy!’ victory

Maurer was both stunned and elated when she defeated Roach and her exuberant reaction has even been circulated online.

“I thought Mattea had it in the bag,” Maurer told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My reaction when I found out I won is now a meme in some circles of the Internet. I was shocked. My brain went completely blank. You can hear me laughing on the edge of hysteria.”

Maurer noted that she may use winnings on her “basement that needs finishing”, but for now is just enjoying her status as a Jeopardy! champion.

“It doesn’t matter how well you do the day that you’re on the show,” she said. “Just getting there is such an achievement within itself.”

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: What Mattea Roach Told Ken Jennings After Her Streak-Ending Loss