Jeopardy! shared late contestant Cindy Stowell's story, and host Alex Trebek closed Wednesday night's show honoring the winner, who died of cancer a week before her first episodes aired.
Credit: Carol Kaelson

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek closed Wednesday night’s show with a tribute to late contestant Cindy Stowell, who died of cancer Dec. 5 — a week before her episodes aired.

“For the past six Jeopardy! programs, you folks have been getting to know the talented champion, Cindy Stowell. Appearing on the show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for that lady,” Trebek said, after Stowell ended her run by losing to Sam Scovill. “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.”

Following the episodes, the show also honored the six-day champion, who racked up $105,803 during her win streak, by sharing her story on social media, below, where she talks about her first attempt to get on the show and her awe at the size of the game board. She got emotional when explaining her personal battle, revealing she would donate her winnings to cancer research. “I really would like the money that I win to help others,” Stowell said, fighting back tears.

Stowell’s boyfriend Jason Hess revealed she fought a high fever and had to be on painkillers while taping in August. Hess was in good spirits and joked with Scovill on Twitter about his win.

“Y̶a̶y̶!̶ ̶Y̶a̶y̶!̶ Damnit! Great game, @samnotscott!” Hess tweeted. Scovill expressed his respect for Hess: “I’d like to give thanks to @habcous for his graciousness during a very difficult time. Can’t put into words how great of a person he is.”

Hess also revealed Stowell’s biggest concern heading to the podium — which reared its head in her final round. “Cindy’s biggest fear going in was that she would get caught on minor pronunciation errors. Was clean to this point, but 2x today. Uh oh…,” he added.

Watch Trebek’s tribute below.


America's favorite answer-and-question game.

  • TV Show