Alex Trebek Jokes That He Got 'Sympathy Votes' After Winning 6th Daytime Emmy Amid Cancer Battle (Exclusive)

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Beloved longtime Jeopardy icon Alex Trebek took home the award for Outstanding Game Show Host at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday, and gave a heartfelt and touching acceptance speech.

Taking to the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Trebek addressed his ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer as he proudly held his trophy aloft in front of the supportive audience.

"I have worried about this moment," Trebek admitted. "I was concerned that sympathy might play a big role in the voting this year. I'm not a big fan of sympathy votes. I believe that we should all be judges on the merits of our work."

"But then I started thinking back to last year. Last year I was nominated, and I had just had major surgery to remove to two life-threatening blood clots on my brain. You would think that would have elicited a certain amount of sympathy!" Trebek joked. "But I didn't win!"

"Maybe I've been worrying about the wrong thing and I should just do what Sally Field did in a venue many, many years ago and look at this as a sign that you guys like me and that you value my work," Trebek shared. "And I'll tell ya, if that's the case, I can live with that."

Speaking backstage with ET's Deidre Behar after his big win, Trebek said he still feels that sympathy still played some role in his win.

"I'm aware that there must be a fair amount of sympathy that went into the voting for this, but to tell you the truth, I don't care," he said with a laugh. "I got the award, and I enjoy having this award."

Trebek, who has been hosting the celebrated and groundbreaking TV trivia show since 1984, beat out fellow nominees John Michael Higgins, host of America Says, Wayne Brady, who hosts Let's Make a Deal, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, and Chris Harrison, who hosts Who Wants to Be a Millionaire when he's not busy with his Bachelor Nation shows.

This marks Trebek's sixth Daytime Emmy Win -- including one Lifetime Achievement Award -- out of a whopping 30 nominations.

Trebek revealed in March that he'd been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer, and vowed to fight his illness with as much resolve as possible. The announcement was met with an overwhelming outpouring of support from fans and former contestants.

"Most of us, in our lifetimes, never get to know the impact we've had on other people. You only get to hear about it when the other person passes away," Trebek reflected with ET. "So to be able to experience it while you alive is very special."

"It's an experience that, on one hand, I didn't want to experience," he added. "But on the other hand, I'm glad it's happened to me because it has taught me something about where I stand in the lives of people in America and where I stand in my own life."

As for how he wants his legacy to be remembered when future generations look back at his life and his standard-setting run as the host of Jeopardy, Trebek said he wants to be thought of as "a good guy, a nice man, and somebody that you looked at on television on a daily basis and said, 'You know what? I like him.'"

Last week, the host sat down with Good Morning America, where he opened up about his health battles and admitted that he's been struggling with bouts of "deep, deep sadness" since his diagnosis.

Check out the video below for the latest news on the celebrated game show host.


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