Jeopardy Honors Cindy Stowell, Contestant Who Died of Cancer

Alex Trebek on Wednesday took a moment to honor Jeopardy contestant Cindy Stowell, who on Dec. 5 died from Stage 4 colon cancer. She was 41.

Stowell, a six-day champion whose earnings totaled $103,801, filmed her episodes in August and September. (Her episodes began airing on Dec. 13.) Those earnings were donated posthumously to cancer research.

“Appearing on our show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for [Cindy Stowell],” Trebek remarked. “From all of us here at Jeopardy, our sincere condolences to her family and her friends.”

In a video posted to the show’s YouTube account, a teary eyed Stowell, who powered through her tapings with a high-grade fever and blood infection, touched on what it meant to her to appear on the long-running game show:

“Even when you think the odds are stacked completely against you, somehow via luck or something, things can work out.”

Press PLAY on the clip above to hear Stowell speak about her time as a Jeopardy contestant, then scroll down to hear Trebek’s touching tribute.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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15 Comments
  1. Lori says:

    My family and I had been watching her episodes and we were totally unaware she was ill. We were shocked and saddened when we found out about her death. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends.

  2. ragnar51 says:

    Ah man, such a shame. Looks like yet another kind person has been lost to the ages. Such a beautiful young life cut far too short.

  3. Ethel says:

    Even though I knew this, it was still a very sad moment when Alex Trebek gave his condolences. I believe she donated her winnings to cancer research

  4. Phil says:

    Sad, but beautiful story. “…via luck, or something.” Sincerely hope she discovered that “something.” What a lovely tribute video.

  5. Kevin says:

    This should go down as the most emotional moment in the history of Jeopardy and the show deserves to get Daytime Emmy considerations. Wish Cindy Stowell’s family would definitely donate her winnings to cancer research.

  6. Meghan says:

    What an inspiration Cindy! was and continues to be. It is truly amazing that she got to fulfill her dream to be on Jeopardy and not just be on the show, but be a 6 day winner who came close to being a 7 day winner. Cindy was a quietly ferocious competitor and her family I’m sure is very proud of her.

  7. ninamags says:

    I had read a news report stating that a contestant had died before their episodes aired and I watched everyday and being excited for her each time that she won.

    I’m glad Jeopardy! acknowledged her. I was sort of hoping that the show would match her winnings to give to charity.

  8. Jeff Oates says:

    Seriously, something needs to be done about cancer.

  9. LaDonna says:

    I’d been watching her but missed her show yesterday. From her demeanor on the show, she seemed to be a gentle soul who was sincerely humbled by her opportunity to be there. Each time she won, her reaction was so endearing. My thoughts are with her family, friends and her boyfriend.

  10. Jamie says:

    Cindy was an inspiration,and this was such a moving tribute. I didn’t know while watching the show till just this week. RIP Cindy. Not all heros wear capes.

  11. Lisa Echerd says:

    She was a great contestent – intelligent, respectful and had interesting little stories for the interview portion. She was a very brave and determined woman as well.

  12. George says:

    1. According to a source, she had a high fever (due to a blood infection) during part of the taping, but soldiered through it.

    2. She had colon cancer. I don’t know how old she was – she looked younger than the typical age for it. But I’d like to recommend folks get a colonoscopy when they turn 50, or earlier if the doctor recommends it (usually because of a family history). It’s mildly unpleasant, but it’s not as bad as some people tell you, and it could save your life.

    • ragnar51 says:

      Guys, what George said is very important. I lost my father to colon cancer when he was 54 and I was 18. As the years rolled by, I would always make excuses for not having the colonoscopy done. Finally, at age 62 a couple of years back (far, far later than it should have been done), I finally had one done because my health insurance demanded it. Fortunately for me, there were several polyps that had to come out but none were cancerous. I had a follow up a year later and all was still well. Almost time for another. The prep. and the exam itself are nothing compared to having cancer! Even though I hold opposite political views to most of the folks here, this is one thing I think we can all agree on.

      Kevin in CT