‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Tearfully Thanks Alex Trebek in Episode Days Before His Death

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Alex Trebekdied on Sunday at the age of 80 following a lengthy battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. But on Thursday night, he appeared in a pre-taped episode of Jeopardy! 

Trebek and the evening’s champion, Burt Thakur, shared an emotional moment following Thakur’s win when Trebek asked the contestant if he had family cheering him on back home. 

“You know, here’s a true story. I grew up… I learned English because of you,” Thakur told Trebek, wiping away tears. “My grandfather, who raised me — I’m going to get tears right now — I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day. So it’s a pretty special moment for me, man. Thank you very much.” 

Shortly after his win, Thakur tweeted, “To win something money can’t buy was an indescribable experience. To be in such a diverse contest makes me proud to be an immigrant and an #American. If you watched me, will you take a bit of my smile and joy & share that with someone? We could all use a @Jeopardy #Jeopardy.”

Following the news of Trebek’s death on Sunday, Thakur tweeted, “When with proud joy we lift Life’s red wine up

To drink deep of the mystic shining cup

And ecstasy through all our being leaps—

Death bows his head and weeps.

I am overwhelmed with emotion right now and my heart goes out to the Trebek family. #Jeopardy #alextrebek @jeopardy.” 

Thakur isn’t the only Jeopardy! contestant to honor Trebek. Record holder Ken Jennings also shared a tribute as have many who have competed on the show as well as many other stars

In Nov. 2019, contestant Dhruv Gaur gave up his chance at winning to show Trebek how much the Jeopardy! contestants and viewers loved him amid his cancer battle. Watch the clip below to see his touching tribute. 


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