‘Jeopardy!’ contestant who died before episode aired was a winner

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LOS ANGELES — The “Jeopardy!” contestant who achieved her dream of appearing on the show but died a week before the episode aired was a winner.

Cindy Stowell, a science content developer from Austin, Texas, died Dec. 5 after a long battle with cancer, according to her longtime partner Jason Hess.

The episode featuring Stowell aired on Tuesday. She was the winning contestant with $22,800.

Stowell passed the initial online contestant test for the show early this year and moved on to the in-person audition phase in Oklahoma City.

It was before to her audition that she divulged her illness to a “Jeopardy!” staffer, and spoke passionately about why she wanted to compete on the show.

Stowell wanted winnings to go to cancer charities

“I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about six months,” Stowell wrote.

“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.”

She was selected and show producers kept their word, scheduling the taping of her appearance three weeks after the audition on Aug. 31.

When Stowell got to the “Jeopardy!” studios, she was fighting Stage 4 cancer, and only a handful of staffers, including longtime host Alex Trebek knew she was sick.

“Jeopardy!” airs weekdays at 6 p.m. on FOX31.


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