Jeopardy! Pays Tribute to Contestant Cindy Stowell
Cindy Stowell knew exactly what she’d do with the money if she won Jeopardy! but first, she had to become a contestant.
Cindy had always dreamed of being a contestant on Jeopardy!, and in early 2016 she passed the contestant test and was invited to the next level, to attend an audition. She was thrilled, but she knew something about her story may prevent her from being a contestant on the show. So she reached out to Jeopardy! contestant producer Maggie Speak.
She wrote, “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. 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.”
Maggie quickly consulted with the show’s producers and told Cindy where to go to her audition. They then rushed her onto the very next show taping, three weeks later, starting August 31, 2016.
When Cindy arrived to compete, only a small number of Jeopardy! staff members and Alex were aware that Cindy was ill. Her opponents were not told Cindy was dying.
“When Cindy Stowell taped her appearance on Jeopardy!, she had Stage 4 cancer. Competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so. Sadly, Cindy died on December 5. Our condolences and best wishes to her family and friends.” said Alex Trebek.
Cindy knew she would never live to enjoy her winnings, but her legacy would live on through her plans for the prize money. She donated her winnings to cancer-related organizations so that other cancer sufferers could perhaps benefit.
“Cindy came on Jeopardy! to play the game she loved 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.” – Greg Stowell, Carole Stowell, and Cindy’s longtime boyfriend Jason Hess
Cindy is quite the inspiration! Hear her share her story in her own words below.
WATCH: Cindy Stowell In Her Own Words
Our condolences go out to Cindy’s friends and family.