Alex Trebek on Sunday won his sixth Emmy for hosting Jeopardy! — his first major win since receiving his stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
The longtime emcee admitted that he worried about how the sympathy vote could have impacted his win. “Ever since the nominations came out I have worried about this moment. Let me explain,” he says. “You were worried about winning? Yeah, I was concerned that sympathy might play a big role in the voting this year. I’m not a big fan of sympathy votes. We should be judged on the merits of our work. However [I remember] last year, I had just had major surgery to remove two life-threatening blood clots. You think that would elicit a certain amount of sympathy. But I didn’t win, so maybe I’ve been worrying about the wrong thing. So I’ll do what Sally Field did [at the Oscars] … you guys like me, and you value my work. I tell you if that’s the case, I can live with that.”
Since announcing his cancer diagnosis in a video message on March 6, Trebek received an outpouring of support from fans of Jeopardy!, as well as cancer survivors. He counts himself “an extremely lucky individual” in the face of his current condition. “I have managed to receive so much love from so many people and, quite often, you don’t get that during your lifetime,” he said on Good Morning America recently.