‘Jeopardy!’ Star Mattea Roach’s Father Dies After Brain Aneurysm
Jeopardy! fan-favorite Mattea Roach is mourning the loss of their father, Phillip Roach, who passed away at the age of 57 after suffering a brain aneurysm.
As first reported by the Nova Scotia Buzz, Phillip died at his home in Halifax on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, when Mattea was scheduled to be filming the final episodes for the currently airing Masters tournament.
“Phil’s four children were the greatest joy of his life, and he endeavored to pass all his wisdom and enthusiasm for living down to them, through long lectures about local history, Trivial Pursuit beatdowns, and instruction in music and movies from before their time,” reads an obituary on DignityMemorial.com.
The tribute continues, “Phil could be relied upon to boast about all his children equally, regardless of the scale or scope of their accomplishments. He was the proudest dad around and made this abundantly clear to anyone who would listen.”
Mattea, a writer and podcaster from Toronto who uses they/them pronouns, hasn’t publicly addressed their father’s passing. But they have spoken highly of him in the past, both on social media and during their time on Jeopardy.
In an anecdote during their 23-game winning streak last year, Mattea mentioned their dream of attending a Kraftwerk concert with their dad.
“Doubt anyone was that invested in my Jeopardy anecdote about going to Kraftwerk with my dad, but in case anyone was: after ten years of talking about it I am finally going to see Kraftwerk with my dad,” Mattea later tweeted alongside a photo of them and their father.
Doubt anyone was that invested in my Jeopardy anecdote about going to Kraftwerk with my dad, but in case anyone was: after ten years of talking about it I am finally going to see Kraftwerk with my dad pic.twitter.com/tRop8ouDlw
— Mattea Roach (@mattearoach) June 6, 2022
Phillip also played host to huge Jeopardy! watch parties while his daughter was on the show, inviting aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to celebrate Mattea’s impressive winning streak.
“He was an especially generous host, and spent many hours in his kitchen over the years preparing elaborate multi-course meals that he would inevitably proclaim were “just okay.” He was always wrong about this – they were delicious,” the obituary adds.
Phillip also shared his pride over Mattea in an interview with CBC news last year. “She was probably beginning to read when she was about 3,” he said. “Just always showing an interest in, not necessarily academics, but learning for the joy.”
“She’s been recognized as being part of the LGBTQ community, so that’s giving visibility and perhaps inspiring kids to be who they are, just do their best, and good things will happen,” he added.
After their Jeopardy! streak came to an end in May 2022, Mattea took to Twitter to thank their mom and dad for their support.
“My parents have been so patient with me and so encouraging of my desire to learn from day one, and I’m so grateful for how well they dealt with being thrust into the spotlight as a result of my time on Jeopardy,” they tweeted.
I also have to thank my family – my parents have been so patient with me and so encouraging of my desire to learn from day one, and I’m so grateful for how well they dealt with being thrust into the spotlight as a result of my time on Jeopardy
— Mattea Roach (@mattearoach) May 8, 2022
Mattea is currently competing in the Jeopardy! Masters tournament, which sees six of the show’s elite contestants facing off for a $500,000 grand prize. So far, they have won two out of four games and are in third place with 7 points, trailing behind Andrew He (9 points and 2 wins) and James Holzhauer (12 points and 4 wins).
“Ugh this is so sad. I was so charmed by Matteas parents interviews during their run because they were clearly so so so proud and delighted by their child,” wrote one fan on the Jeopardy! Reddit forum.
“That’s awful. If he could have seen Mattea this week, he would’ve been so proud,” another commenter added.
“Sending condolences to Mattea. Hearing them talk about their dad so many times at the podium, it’s clear he played a huge role in their love of music and general curiosity,” wrote another.
Jeopardy! Masters, Weeknights, 8-9 pm et, ABC