“Jeopardy!” fans were brought to tears Tuesday night during an unexpected emotional moment that aired on the “Masters” series.
It all went down after contestant Mattea Roach addressed their father’s sudden death last month at the age of 57.
At one point during the show, host Ken Jennings asked Roach – who uses they/them pronouns – about a certain piece of attire.
“In your very first appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ we asked you what your most prized possession was,” Jennings, 49, recalled.
“And you mentioned a denim jacket on extended loan from your dad, right?”
Roach, 24, agreed but sadly noted that the jacket is now “on permanent loan.”
“Unfortunately, my dad actually passed away at the start of the month very suddenly,” the fan-favorite contestant shared.
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“He’s a huge part of the reason why I’m here. He and my mom instilled an early love of geography in me. My dad taught me all about Turner Classic Movies and old music and all sorts of things.”
Roach continued by saying that they wanted to honor their father, who died from a brain aneurysm, on what “might be my last game of the series.”
Roach told viewers that they were actually on the game show’s set when they found out about their dad’s passing.
They then explained the kindness that was extended by the other contestants and the show’s producers.
“I could not have asked for better support going through what is the worst day of my life pretty much so far,” they shared. “Everyone who made sure that I did not have to continue playing. I was able to go home and be with my mom and my brothers.”
They added, “My whole family is so thankful for everyone here at ‘Jeopardy!’ for helping us through this really difficult time.”
Even Jennings appeared moved by Roach’s words.
“Speaking as a dad, I can only guess at how proud he must have been of you and I’m so glad he had the chance to see you play,” the host said, getting visibly choked up.
Fans of the show also took to social media to share their condolences.
“What a beautiful tribute,” one person tweeted, with another adding, “Oh my goodness. My heartaches for this sweet young lady.”
“Our hearts go out to Mattea and their family,” wrote the official “Jeopardy!” Twitter account.
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