Mattea Roach from Jeopardy! reveals they learned of their father’s “horrible” death on set in a heartbreaking first post since the tragedy
DANGER! Masters star Mattea Roach has broken her silence on her father’s sudden death and shared a harrowing tribute on Twitter.
As they revealed, Phillip Henry Roach died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 57 on May 2, 2023 at his family’s home in Canada while Mattea was “on the set of Jeopardy!”.
Mattea, 24, paid full tribute to the two on Tuesday, starting with two sweet throwback photos of them with their dad, one when the super champ was growing up and one as an adult [above].
The Current Danger! The Masters semifinalist began: “In one of my Jeopardy Masters participant anecdotes tonight, I’m talking about my father.
“I’ve done this many times on the show, but this time I’m speaking in the past tense because my father died earlier this month.”
“First of all, I wanted to give credit to my dad in relation to tonight’s game because he was the subject of the first ever contestant anecdote I’ve ever read on Jeopardy! told me.”
“My thought was if I only had 30 seconds to speak on the show, I wanted it to be about him.”
“I also wanted to talk about my father, who died during the making of Masters.
“The first seven episodes were recorded before his death, the last three after. (He got to watch the fourth episode in the studio, so he knew it was going well for me.)
“I’m going to say that on TV tonight, but I want to reiterate it here — I was on the set of Jeopardy when my dad died.”
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“Apart from being home with my family, I can’t think of a better place to be when I receive such terrible news.”
Filming for the Masters special, which premiered May 8, was paused earlier as Andrew He gave birth midway through filming, and Mattea revealed they had delayed taping a second time to allow for them to could go home.
“My competitors weren’t supporting me at the moment and so many people on the production side were moving mountains to make sure I could get home to my family and come back later in the month to finish the competition.”
“Apart from this thread and my comments in tonight’s episode of Masters, I have no other public comment to make about my father at this time.
I ask people to respect my privacy and that of my family as our grief is very fresh.”
Mattea finished hers post with a photo of Phillip taking part in a trivia contest: “Finally, this is my dad’s 1983 Reach for the Top team photo. Dad is sitting in his flannel shirt.
Everything I do on TV this week is for him.”
‘THINKING OF YOU’
Fans flocked to Mattea’s post in response, as one person wrote: “I’m so sorry for your loss Mattea. I am thinking of you and your family.”
“Oh God. I’m so sorry Mattea,” wrote another.
MATTEA’S TRAGIC LOSS
Mattea’s sudden loss was reported by Nova Scotia buzza local branch in her hometown.
Phillip Roach “died of a brain aneurysm at his home in Halifax on May 2, 2023,” the outlet wrote.
Phillip’s four children with his wife Patti McKinnon are “the greatest joy of his life,” the outlet continued.
Phillip graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a degree in business administration in 1993 and pursued a career in human resources. He also loved cycling and cooking.
Mattea’s father enjoyed playing Trivial Pursuit with his children, the local newspaper wrote, and says he’s proud to have passed on his love of rock music to them.
The prodigy said onstage during her original 23-game run in April 2022 (as noted in her Twitter tribute) that her dad’s vintage denim jacket was her favorite piece of clothing.
They were also so excited to see the band Kraftwerk with him, as evidenced by the recent photo Mattea shared above.
Mattea’s proud parents threw a watch party at their house for each and every one of their original 23 wins last year.
Mattea’s parents adorned her glass door with a sign that read, “This is Jeopardy!”
Mattea has since hosted a popular Canadian podcast and now uses the pronouns they/them.
Mattea returned with a vengeance for a third time after her original run and the 2022 Tournament of Champions.
Mattea is the 6th highest earner on Jeopardy! All-time winner with $560,983,000 in regular game earnings from her first round and would no doubt make her dad prouder than ever right now.
After two weeks of not-to-be-missed Masters episodes, Andrew He, Matt Amodio, Mattea and self-proclaimed game show villain James Holzhauer have emerged as the top four semi-finalists.
Unfortunately, popular fan favorite Sam Buttrey and 40-time winner Amy Schneider were eliminated as the bottom two placed players.
Although James leads in the semifinals after winning both games on Monday, Mattea led him to the Final Jeopardy in Match 2.
James was impressed and later tweeted, “Don’t piss off a Canadian, no matter how friendly they seem.”
“Let’s just give Mattea some credit,” EP Michael Davies also said on one current episode of the podcast Inside Jeopardy!.
“Because in many circles some doubts were expressed about Mattea before they were invited to the Masters.”
“Mattea was on a 23-game win streak at the age of 23. Mattea is the tallest young Jeopardy! player on planet earth and truly proves her right to enter this competition.”
Michael continued to praise her buzzer skills, citing her faster than anyone else, competitive and capable of playing a part.
“(Mattea) gets hot every now and then and there’s just no stopping it.”
After the semi-finals tonight, another player is eliminated.
Wednesday’s final consists of two games with the three finalists and $500,000 plus a “Trebek Trophy” as a reward – Mattea will go home with at least $100,000 as a consolation prize.