‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Comments on This Challenge That Has Nothing to Do With the Quiz Board

Mattea Roach’s Jeopardy! jackpot continues to grow along with her number of consecutive wins. Though the Canadian native is rarely stumped on complex trivia clues and recently clinched her 21st victory, Roach revealed one aspect of the game show that can have her stumped at times.

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

Mattea Roach is running short on stories

Jeopardy! GOAT Ken Jennings has hosted for the majority of Roach’s victory run and earned his own claim to fame when he won 74 consecutive games in 2004. Roach referred to Jennings’ streak when she pointed out the difficulty of coming up with fresh and engaging anecdotes for each episode, featured after the first commercial break of the show.

“It does get hard,” Roach remarked, according to ET Canada. “I didn’t watch Ken’s run all the way through as a kid because I was like, five, six years old when it was happening, but I’m sure that he must have really been scraping the bottom of the barrel by the end of it.”

Wanting to convey a humble demeanor, Roach provided personal stories that tended to be a bit on the demure side.

“I did not want to go on, play one game and then my anecdote in that game is something where I feel like I’m gassing myself up and telling a story about something that feels boastful,” the 23-year-old explained.

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‘Jeopardy!’ champ jazzed up her stories

While she wanted to avoid anything bordering on bragging, Roach decided enliven her “deliberately boring and generic” stories and spiced things up.

“After my first four shows, we had a break in taping and I remember texting the producer who handles the contestant anecdotes,” Roach recalled. “I was like, ‘I need to give you better material. Because the stuff that I sent you the first time is like, really boring’. “

She added, “‘And I promise I’m more interesting than this’. “

Ken Jennings had to ‘make things up’ during his ‘Jeopardy!’ run

Jennings can relate to Roach’s dilemma. He recalled being asked to come up with more personal tidbits for each of his 74 episodes.

“After my first round of shows, I was out of fun stories,” Jennings told Vulture in May 2020. “But every week, Jeopardy! would call and be like, ‘You’re taping again next week, we need more stories for your cards!’ I didn’t have any other stories to share.”

Ken Jennings of 'Jeopardy!'
Ken Jennings of ‘Jeopardy!’ | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

The Jeopardy! GOAT confessed he had to use some creative license during his winning streak. Though he was sure not to go overboard with anything too farfetched, Jennings fabricated some of his getting-to-know-you stories.

“I’m gonna admit that sometimes I’d make things up,” he said. “I wouldn’t pretend to be a hero or anything, but you can put anything on those cards. The show doesn’t fact-check that stuff. … The clues are all double-checked, but for contestant anecdotes, you can say whatever you want.”

Jennings still holds the top spot for consecutive wins on Jeopardy! and earned a whopping $2,520,700 in cash during his 74-game streak.

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