During Mattea Roach’s epic run on Jeopardy, I made a series of recaps of her episodes on the Halifax subreddit. Initially this was to help explain how exceptional she really was using the box score stats Jeopardy puts out–I wanted casual viewers to realize that this kid had Tournament of Champions potential. Some people really seemed to enjoy the discussion of Jeopardy strategy and history that the recaps morphed into, so I kept it up through all 24 games. I have decided to post them here to preserve the record of this fun and exciting moment in history.
This first one is by far the shortest, as it was simply a reply to someone who thought Mattea looked pretty strong in her first game. The recaps got a lot more detailed as things went on–I ended up writing 32,041 words over the course of her run (not including many detailed replies!)
Mattea is fantastic. Her box score stats show that she had a 75% success rate on the buzzer last night, which is elite–her relative youth probably helps there, as buzzing duels are literally decided by milliseconds. She finished with an $18,600 Coryat, which is very impressive and suggests she could be primed for a run. Many players actually see an improvement in their second game–there is a bit of a learning curve the first game adjusting to the stage, the buzzer, etc. (In the box score, you can see that her buzzer success rate jumped from 67% in the first round to 86% in Double Jeopardy.)
FYI: Coryat score is a stat used by Jeopardy nerds that filters out the variability of Daily Doubles and Final Jeopardy. Most Tournament of Champions caliber players average approximately what Mattea did last night. The all-time legends average about 10K more. For reference, Amy Schneider, who just went on the second longest run of all time, averaged $26,946–though only $18,800 in her first game. The highest single game Coryat score belongs to Ken Jennings, who once scored $39,200 (though again, only $19,600 in his first game). So Mattea had a strong debut!
As a massive J! fan, I’m simultaneously super excited and unspeakably jealous. She is living my dream. I’ve been trying to get on the show for the better part of a decade. Passed the contestant test 7 times now, but never received the call. Just took it again last week–maybe Mattea’s success will convince the producers to start drafting more Atlantic Canadian talent!