Alex Trebek Choked up Over This Heartwarming ‘Jeopardy!’ Tribute

Alex Trebek is one of the most beloved and well-recognized game show hosts in the country. For generations, millions of people have watch TV every day to hear his calming voice recite answers to some of the world’s most challenging trivia questions on the popular game show, Jeopardy!. 

Recently the iconic game show host was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And although he is still currently receiving treatment for his cancer, he has yet to miss a show and doesn’t have any plans to quit the show anytime soon.

Because of his condition, it seems as if Trebek is able to appreciate the little things in life more than he used to. A good example of this would be when he had an emotional response to a contestant’s recent answer to a question on the show. Keep reading to find out why Alex Trebek got choked up over a contestant’s heartwarming tribute.

When did Alex Trebek become a game show host?

Alex Trebek attends the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.
Alex Trebek | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Trebek was born and raised in Canada. He attended the University of Ottawa to study philosophy. After graduating, Trebek decided that he would rather pursue a career in journalism, instead of philosophy.

For a few years, he worked as a newscaster with a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He then left the television station in order to become a game show host. From 1973 until 1982, Trebek hosted several different Canadian game shows, including High Rollers, The $128,000 Questions, and Pitfall.

In 1984, Trebek traveled to the U.S to audition for a game show called Jeopardy! The game show had a unique concept, however, it was not a new show. The show had previously aired from 1964 to 1975 and in the early 80s, the show’s creators decided to bring back the once-popular game show. Trebek’s calm demeanor and natural charisma made him the perfect choice to host the unique trivia show.

He has continued to be the only host that the show has ever had since it was revived in 1984. For his work on the show, Trebek has won many awards, including a Grammy.

Alex Trebek gets a life-changing diagnosis

In the past couple of years, Trebek has had to deal with a few different injuries and illnesses. But in March of this year, Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The world was stunned and saddened when they heard the news.

However, in May of this year, Trebek had assured fans that he was getting better and the treatment was working well. According to WebMD, after finishing his first round of Chemotherapy, Trebek had told Good Morning America: “I was doing so well. And my numbers went down to the equivalent of a normal human being who doesn’t have pancreatic cancer. So, we were all very optimistic. And they said, ‘Good, we’re gonna stop chemo, we’ll start you on immunotherapy.”

By September of this year, the doctors had decided to put Trebek back on chemo after a series of blood tests showed worrisome results.

“I lost about 12 pounds in a week and my numbers went sky high, much higher than they were when I was first diagnosed,” Trebek had said. “So, the doctors have decided that I have to undergo chemo again.”

WebMD notes that pancreatic cancer does have a high fatality rate. Because most people don’t usually have any symptoms in the first few stages of pancreatic cancer, when they finally do start experiencing symptoms, the cancer is usually already in an aggressive stage.

A ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant gave a heartwarming tribute to Alex Trebek

Recently, on an episode of Jeopardy!, one contestant had been was having a hard time coming up with the Final Jeopardy answerBecause he didn’t know the answer, he decided to instead write Trebek a heartfelt message. When Trebek went to read the contestant’s answer, he had to fight back tears as he read the words: “We [heart] you, Alex.”

Who was the contestant who made Alex Trebek choke up?

The contestant who made Trebek get emotional is named Dhruv Gaur. He had recently gone on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about why he wrote the message to Trebek.

During the interview, Gaur had said that the show was actually taped in September, right after Trebek learned that he would have to start his chemotherapy up again. Because Gaur knew that he didn’t have a chance at winning, he had decided to instead, turn his last answer on Jeopardy! into encouraging words for Trebek.