The LGBTQ+ community is well represented in the Jeopardy!Masters tournament, which began this week, with six of the venerable quiz show’s top-ranked champions competing.
The contestants are some of the top Jeopardy! winners of all time. Mattea Roach, a writer and podcaster from Toronto, who is queer and uses they/them pronouns, performed particularly well Tuesday night, with a come-from-behind win. Roach is, at 24, the youngest participant in the tournament.
Also representing is last year’s Tournament of Champions winner, writer, and former software engineer Amy Schneider, a transgender woman from Oakland, Calif. Rounding out the lineup are four men who are, as far as we know, straight and cisgender: postdoctoral researcher Matt Amodio, who lives in Cambridge, Mass.; Sam Buttrey, a college professor from Pacific Grove, Calif.; Andrew He, a software developer from San Francisco; and James Holzhauer, a professional gambler and self-described “game show villain” from Las Vegas.
The Masters tournament is a new entry for the show. The six players will compete over the course of 10 hour-long episodes containing two half-hour games with three contestants in each. After seven episodes (14 games), the top four players will advance to the semifinals before one more player is eliminated. The championship culminates with the top three players competing in the Masters finals. The winner of the finals will receive $500,000 and the Trebek Trophy, named in honor of the late host Alex Trebek, but all players will receive some cash.
Up until the finals, players will receive match points based on how they perform in each game: three for the winner, one for second place, and zero for third place. Cumulative match points will determine who advances, and the finals will be a two-game affair with dollar-value scores.
In their Tuesday game, Roach was in second place behind Buttrey, with Schneider third, going into the Final Jeopardy! round. Roach and Schneider answered the question correctly, in the category of 21st-century writers, but Buttrey did not, so Roach won.
With Monday’s and Tuesday’s results, the contestants have accumulated match points as follows: four for He, three each for Roach, Amodio, and Holzhauer, two for Schneider, and one for Buttrey.
New episodes in the quarterfinals will air at 8/7 Central on ABC Wednesday and Friday of this week, then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. The semifinals will air May 22 and 23 and the finals May 24, also at 8/7 Central. The tournament will stream on Hulu as well.