Jeopardy host Alex Trebek paid tribute Wednesday to Cindy Stowell, a contestant who died from cancer December 5, a week before her first episode aired. She was 41.
Stowell had taped her episodes in August and September. They aired beginning December 13 and ended last night. At the time, only Trebek and a few Jeopardy staffers knew she was suffering from Stage IV colon cancer. She had a successful six-day run, earning $105,803. She previously had indicated she wanted all of her winnings donated to the Cancer Research Institute, her boyfriend Jason Hess said.
“For the past six Jeopardy programs, you folks have been getting to know the talented champion, Cindy Stowell,” Trebek said on Wednesday night’s show. “Appearing on the show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for that lady. What you did not know is that when we taped these programs with her a few weeks ago, she was suffering from Stage IV cancer and sadly, on Dec. 5, Cindy Stowell passed away. So from all of us here at Jeopardy, our sincere condolences to her family and her friends.”
Stowell, who battled a blood infection and high-grade fever during the tapings, tearfully talked about what it meant to her to appear on her favorite game show in a video posted to the show’s YouTube account. You can watch it above.