James Holzhauer‘s record-setting Jeopardy! run came to an end earlier this month, but he’s still making news. No, it has to do with leaked footage or conspiracy theories — Holzhauer, who took home $2,464,216 over 33 appearances on the long-running game show, donated a portion of his winnings to a Chicago-area pancreatic cancer walk in Alex Trebek’s name.
In March, the Jeopardy! host publicly announced that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and although he’s “near remission,” not everyone is so lucky (Trebek called his medical update “mind-boggling,” given the nine percent five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients). During Holzhauer’s winning streak, Ann Zediker, a resident of Naperville, Illinois (where “Jeopardy James” used to live), invited him to the 2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk in July. “At the end of the day, I had nothing to lose,” Zediker told CNN. “My heart told me it was the right thing to do.” Holzhauer replied, saying he unfortunately wouldn’t be able to attend, but “he sent her a donation for $1,109.14.”
At first, Zediker was confused by the dollar amount. But then it dawned on her — the number represented his daughter Natasha’s birthday. “There was no expectation on my end,” she told CNN. “I was just thrilled that he responded. I knew that Alex’s story had an impact on him, just like it has an impact on anyone who’s working with a family member who’s going through pancreatic cancer.” (Via)
Holzhauer’s message with the donation: “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.” The Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is put on by the Lustgarten Foundation, where “100 percent of your donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research.” To discover more, or to donate, click here.