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Mattea Roach turns into newest LGBTQ ‘Jeopardy!’ phenom

With her 14th consecutive “Jeopardy!” win on Friday, Mattea Roach certified for the sport present’s Tournament of Champions, a coveted yearly competitors among the many 15 gamers who win essentially the most cash within the prior season.

Roach, a 23-year-old Canadian tutor, took residence $34,000 on Friday, bringing her complete winnings to $320,081 and making her the highest-winning Canadian contestant in “Jeopardy!” historical past.

And as Roach breaks “Jeopardy!” data, she’s additionally amounted one other noteworthy accolade. Roach, who’s a lesbian, in accordance with her Twitter account, has turn into the sport present’s newest LGBTQ sensation.

Roach’s profitable streak follows the success of “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider, who made historical past in November when she grew to become the first transgender contestant to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.

“This has been such a crazy season of streaks,” Mattea instructed “Jeopardy!” following her twelfth consecutive win final week. “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.”

Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider.
Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider.Casey Durkin / Sony Pictures Television

Schneider capped a 40-game profitable streak this 12 months, with total winnings of $1,382,800. She holds the title of the present’s prime feminine earner and the second-highest profitable streak in “Jeopardy!” historical past, behind contestant-turned-host Ken Jennings, who ended a 74-game streak in 2004.

Amid her success on the present, Schneider, an engineering supervisor from Oakland, California, grew to become an on the spot transgender icon. She’s amassed over 138,000 followers on Twitter and earned invitations to prime LGBTQ fundraising occasions, together with the GLAAD Media Awards this month, the place the LGBTQ media advocacy group honored her.

Last month, Schneider was additionally invited to talk on transgender rights on the White House in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility.

Similar to when Schneider competed on the favored quiz present, some “Jeopardy!” followers have celebrated Roach for growing LGBTQ visibility on TV.

“current jeopardy champion is a 23 year old Canadian lesbian, we’re truly going to run the world one day,” one fan wrote on Twitter.

“just found out shes a lesbian so. watching jeopardy like its my job,” wrote one other, referring to Roach.

In current years, a lot of “Jeopardy!” contestants have more and more acknowledged their LGBTQ identities.

Some, together with Schneider, have worn LGBTQ Pride flag pins whereas competing to extend queer visibility on TV. Schneider has mentioned that doing so was the spotlight of her expertise on the present.

Also notably, “Jeopardy!” contestant Cody Lawrence was praised in 2020 for breaking boundaries when he wore a Bisexual Pride flag pin on the present.

“The bi segment of the LGBTQ+ community isn’t quite as visible as the rest of it, both within the community and outside of the community,” he told the “TODAY” show. “Obviously, the LGBTQ+ community as a whole has difficulty with visibility, but I feel like we get lost in the shuffle. A lot.”

Roach will vie for her fifteenth consecutive “Jeopardy!” win on Monday night, dealing with off towards contestants Michael Graff from Eastvale, California, and Jessie Francis from Marietta, Georgia.

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