Why ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Mattea Roach Says ‘I’m No James Holzhauer’

Toronto resident Mattea Roach continues to climb up the champion tracker on Jeopardy!. Now at a dozen consecutive wins, Roach has raked in a total of $271,282 and is a lock for the Tournament of Champions. Despite her success, the Canada native insists she does things differently from this former headline-making Jeopardy! winner.

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

Mattea Roach went solo into Final Jeopardy

According to Jeopardy.com, Roach is now tied for ninth place on the consecutive games won list. The Canadian tutor secured her 12th win on April 20 and was the only contestant left for the Final Jeopardy round. Roach expressed her excitement for her growing jackpot.

“I’m only 23,” the Jeopardy! champ remarked. “So, this is like so much more money than I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It’s really amazing. I’m so grateful.”

Season 38 has featured multiple contestants on winning streaks, including Matt Amodio, Jonathan Fisher, and Amy Schneider.

“This has been such a crazy season of streaks,” Roach said. “I was fully thinking, you know, Amy might still be here. If it’s not Amy, there’s going to be some other super-champion that’s just going to knock me out game one. And then, I guess what I didn’t realize is maybe I could become the super champion I wanted to see in the world.”

RELATED: ‘Jeopardy!’: Mattea Roach Comments on Facing Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider in the Tournament of Champions

James Holzhauer’s ‘all in’ strategy doesn’t appeal to Mattea Roach

Holzhauer became a household name after his record-breaking 32-game winning streak in 2019. Always choosing big-money clues first, the professional gambler was known for going “all in” on Daily Doubles and betting his entire jackpot. The strategy brought him almost $2.5 in cash by the end of his run. Roach admitted she takes a different strategy when wagering, opting to be more cautious.

“I’m not one of those people who’s like, this is, you know, ‘the house’s money’ or money to play around with,” she explained. “I’m no James Holzhauer. So, I like to be conservative with wagering.”

Jeopardy!‘s website reports Roach as having a 93% clue response accuracy rating and an 88% Daily Double accuracy rating, clearly showing her breadth of knowledge on a wide range of topics. Roach is clearly enjoying her time at the podium.

“I am genuinely having so much fun,” she shared. “I’ve told that to everyone that I’ve played against before every game. Like, have fun up there. You’ll play better and this is a once in a lifetime experience. Why would you not want to have fun?”

‘Jeopardy!’ GOAT Ken Jennings calls James Holzhauer’s strategy ‘high risk’

Current host Ken Jennings went up against Holzhauer (and won) in Jeopardy!’s Greatest of All Time Tournament in 2020, and noted that he had to take on Holzhauer’s strategy in order to outplay him.

“You have to bet big,” Jennings told People in January 2020. “That’s the only way to beat him. I watched so many James Holzhauer tapes, just to prep for this. It’s a tribute to how he’s changed the game.”

While the Jeopardy! GOAT credits Holzhauer for inspiring contestants to take bigger risks, he warns that it doesn’t work for everyone.

“You’re definitely going to see a lot of cocky, young, would-be stars,” Jennings said. “The problem is his strategy is very high risk. So I think it’s going to backfire on a lot of people.”

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