Ken Jennings Sends Congrats After Jeopardy! Contestant Hits Fun Milestone

Ken Jennings and Mattea Roach on Jeopardy!
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Mattea Roach has a lot to be proud of after her 23-game winning streak on Jeopardy! came to an end. The 23-year-old tutor cracked her way into the Top 5 all-time in consecutive wins and highest regular-season winnings. In an achievement that would make the late Alex Trebek proud, Roach is also the winningest Canadian in the game show’s history. After her loss to Danielle Maurer on the May 6 episode (by $1 in a tense Final Jeopardy! showdown), co-host Ken Jennings sent a congratulatory message that pointed out another fun milestone Roach reached that only a select few Jeopardy! champions can claim.

Ken Jennings, who is sharing co-hosting duties with Mayim Bialik through the end of the quiz show’s current season, has cemented his own place in Jeopardy!’s Hall of Fame. In fact, Mattea Roach enjoyed having such a big name in the show’s history as the host that she has publicly endorsed him to be named permanent host going forward. As well as sharing the stage for some recent episodes, they also share an achievement that only one other champion can boast, Jennings pointed out on Twitter:

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At 23 years old, the Toronto native won 23 games, making her the third contestant to reach as many Jeopardy! victories as years on the planet. She’s the only one to hit the mark right on the nose, though. Ken Jennings holds the record for consecutive games won at 74 (he was 29 when he went on his historic streak), and Matt Amodio won 38 games in 2021 at the age of 30.

Both Amy Schneider and James Holzhauer came oh-so-close to “shooting their age,” as Ken Jennings called it, with Schneider’s 40-game streak ending in January (she is 43), and Holzhauer’s run ending at 32 when he was 35 years old. 

Mattea Roach’s 23 games landed her at fifth place in the record books for consecutive Jeopardy! games won, and her $560,983 also puts her in fifth place for highest regular-season earnings. Above her are Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, James Holzhauer and, of course, Ken Jennings, who holds the record with $2,520,700. We’ll see Roach again in the Tournament of Champions, where she’ll have a chance to increase her all-time winnings; but even without the additional moolah, she already sits in ninth place. 

Jeopardy! has seen an unusual number of win streaks over the past few years, and it’s apparently been the topic of discussion behind the scenes of the game show as well. Executive producer Michael Davies even spoke to the trend, arguing that it’s not because the clues are getting easier, and Mayim Bialik weighed in by chalking it up to the increasing availability of information. Other theories include veteran players being more familiar with the buzzer, as well as the production shutdown during COVID potentially giving recent contestants more time to prepare. 

Whatever the cause, it’s been exciting to watch champions keep building their win total, and now with Mattea Roach reaching her age in Jeopardy! victories, there’s a new milestone for future champions to aspire to. Just probably not anyone who was born before Jeopardy! first started airing.

Check your local listings to see when to catch Jeopardy! in your area, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see when new and returning shows are premiering.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.