"Appearing on the show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for that lady," Trebek said on Wednesday's episode
Jeopardy! fans and viewers said their farewells to Cindy Stowell, the contestant who died one week before her episode aired.
Wednesday’s episode marked the end of Stowell’s six-game winning streak on the show, and host Alex Trebek paid special tribute to the 41-year-old Austin native, who lost her battle with Stage IV cancer on Dec. 5.
“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.
“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.”
During her six appearances, Stowell collected a total of $105,803, which she vowed to donate any winnings to cancer research.
On Wednesday, her boyfriend Jason Hess tweeted his congratulations to Sam Scovill, the contestant who ended Stowell’s win streak. “Yay! Yay! Damnit! Great game, @samnotscott!” he tweeted.
And Scovill thanked Hess in his response: “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.” Adding in another tweet, “What they did for Cindy was amazing. The people at #jeopardy are beyond first class.”
Hess had previously shared that Stowell was on painkillers while taping, during which she was fighting a high-grade fever and blood infection.
After getting through her in-person audition, Stowell explained to a Jeopardy! producer that she had only six months to live. Then on Aug. 31., she taped her first appearance, three weeks after qualifying. During her time on the show, Stowell informed only a select group of staffers about her illness.
Stowell’s episodes marked the first posthumous airing of a contestant in Jeopardy!‘s history.
Cindy’s family asks that donations be made to the Cancer Research Institute in Cindy’s name.