A champion Jeopardy! contestant died a week before her episodes aired, host Alex Trebek revealed as he closed Wednesday night’s show.
Trebek signed off with a tribute to late contestant Cindy Stowell, who died of 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, after Stowell ended her run.
“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 completed a six-day winning streak and racked up $105,803 in winnings. She vowed to donate all of it to cancer research.
Her boyfriend, Jason Hess, revealed Stowell fought a high fever and had to be on painkillers while taping in August, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Hess was in good spirits and joked with Sam Scovill, who beat Stowell, on Twitter about his win.
Scovill expressed his respect for Hess, thanking him “for his graciousness during a very difficult time. Can’t put into words how great of a person he is.”