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Jeopardy! champ donates some winnings to cancer research in Trebek’s name

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 14:34:36-04

James Holzhauer, the “Jeopardy!” champion who won 32 straight games, earning a total of $2,462,216, has donated a portion of his winnings to a Chicago-area pancreatic cancer walk – and he did so in Alex Trebek’s name, CNN reports.

The popular “Jeopardy!” host publicly announced the diagnosis of his stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March. He’s since said he’s in near-remission.

CNN reports this is how it happened: During what would be the contestant’s final episode, Trebek praised Holzhauer’s daughter for a handmade card.

“I want to express my thanks to your beautiful little daughter, Natasha, for having made this get-well card for me,” Trebek said in the beginning of the show. “That was very sweet of her.”

Ann Zediker, a resident of Holzhauer’s former town and fundraiser in the walk, told CNN that she was watching the show and, aware of Holzhauer’s connection to Naperville — the champ is a former resident — decided she would reach out and invite him to the 2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk on July 14.

“At the end of the day, I had nothing to lose,” Zediker, who lost her father in 2010 to pancreatic cancer, told CNN. “My heart told me it was the right thing to do.”

Holzhauer couldn’t participate, but he did send a donation along with the message that it was “For Alex Trebek and all the other surivors.”

The amount of the donation – $1,109.14 – was his daughter’s birthdate.

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