'Jeopardy' Contestant With Stage 4 Cancer Dies a Week Before Her Episode Airs
By Alex Ungerman
Sad day for Jeopardy.
Cindy Stowell, who competed on the show with stage 4 cancer, died on Dec. 5, just over a week before her episode is set to air, Austin, Texas's KXAN reports.
Jeopardy expressed its condolences on the show's website, and confirmed that the 41-year-old science content developer's episode would air on Dec. 13 as scheduled.
"Competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Stowell, and we’re glad she was able to do so," host Alex Trebek said in a statement. "Our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends."
While reaching out to Jeopardy producers about auditioning for the show, Stowell shared her predicament, and expressed interest in donating any winnings to cancer research efforts.
“Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months," she revealed. "If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of Jeopardy! if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research. If it is unlikely that the turnaround time would be that quick, then I’d like to give up my try out spot to someone else.”
After qualifying to compete, Cindy taped her episode on Aug. 31. Only Trebek and a small number of the show's producers knew of her condition.
“Cindy came on Jeopardy! to play the game she loved," said Stowell's family, including longtime boyfriend Jason Hess, in a statement. "And in doing so, she was able to make a contribution to cancer research in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did."