Mattea Roach opens up about personal tragedy while filming 'Jeopardy!'
Published Wednesday, May 24, 2023 4:58PM EDT
Trivia champion Mattea Roach opened up about a sudden family tragedy while filming an episode of “Jeopardy!” earlier this month.
On May 2, Philip Henry Roach, Mattea’s father, died at 57 years old of a brain aneurysm at home in Halifax, according to his obituary.
During Tuesday night’s episode of “Jeopardy! Masters,” the 24-year-old spoke candidly about their father’s death when host Ken Jennings about what their most prized possession was.
The prized possession? Philip Roach’s denim jacket, which is now – as Roach puts it – on permanent loan.
“He’s a huge part of the reason why I’m here,” Roach said, adding their father instilled in them an early love of geography, Turner Classic Movies, and old music, among other things.
Roach continued to say it was actually on the Jeopardy! set when they received news of the death.
“Everyone who was at production, my fellow contestants, I could not have asked for better support going through, what is, the worst day of my life pretty much so far,” Roach said.
“Everyone who made sure that I did not have to continue playing and was able to go home, and be with my mom and my brothers. My whole family is so thankful for everyone here at Jeopardy! for helping us through that really difficult time,” they added, appearing to fight back tears on air.
In response, Jennings extended his condolences to Mattea and their family.
“Speaking as a dad, I can only guess at how proud he must have been of you, and I’m so glad he had the chance to see you play,” Jennings said.
Continuing the conversation on Twitter, Roach said the first seven episodes of the Masters series were filmed before he died, adding he was in the studio to see the fourth episode – “So he knew it was going well-ish for me.”
“Everything I am doing on TV this week is for him,” Roach tweeted, accompanied by a photo of Philip Roach with his Reach for the Top team photo.
Roach, who lives in Toronto, will be on the final round of “Jeopardy! Masters” on Wednesday night, which airs on CTV2.