Alex Trebek’s Most Memorable ‘Jeopardy!’ Moments of the Last Two Years

Television has lost an icon. Alex Trebek died on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 80 years old, according to a statement released by Jeopardy!. Trebek died peacefully surrounded by his family, according to the announcement. The iconic gameshow host had been battling pancreatic cancer.

Fans of Trebek and Jeopardy! are taking to social media in droves to honor the late star. And perhaps the best example of how beloved Trebek really was can be found in the moments Jeopardy! contestants took to share their admiration.

Alex Trebek on 'Jeopardy!' | Eric McCandless/Getty Images
Alex Trebek on ‘Jeopardy!’ | Eric McCandless/Getty Images

Alex Trebek announced his cancer diagnosis in March 2019, and gave a happy update in March 2020

The famed gameshow’s Twitter account announced Trebek’s passing on Sunday, Nov. 8.

“Jeopardy! is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends,” the tweet read. “Thank you, Alex.”

Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer nearly two years ago. He shared his diagnosis with the world in March 2019, then gave an update one year later, saying he was happy to have reached the one-year milestone. He also stressed in the video message how difficult the treatment had been, but he assured fans he was still fighting, for anything else would be a “betrayal” to his wife, Jean, his fans, and other pancreatic cancer patients who saw him as an inspiration.

While it was certainly sad for his supporters to hear that Trebek had been struggling throughout his treatment, the update on his battle with cancer was the exact level of inspiring and comforting that Jeopardy! viewers have come to know the host for.

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Trebek received an outpouring of love after sharing his diagnosis

Another memorable Jeopardy! moment in recent years came in November 2019, when “Tournament of Champions” contestant Dhruv Gaur used his “Final Jeopardy” response to wish Trebek well following his cancer diagnosis.

“We love you, Alex!” Gaur’s answer read.

“That’s very kind. Thank you,” Trebek said. Choking back tears, he continued, “Costs you $1,995. You’re left with five bucks.”

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One of the final contestant tributes to Trebek aired just days before his death

Despite his health struggles and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Trebek was able to safely return to hosting the show this fall. The new episodes started airing Sept. 14, but the shows were not recorded in front of a live audience like in past seasons.

One contestant in an episode that aired on Thursday, Nov. 5, gave what is now one of the final tributes Trebek received before his death. Contestant Burt Thakur won the game that night, snagging himself $20,400 in winnings in the process. As per usual on the show, Trebek asked him to share some details about his personal life.

“Any family members back home cheering you on?” the star asked.

“You know, here’s a true story,” Thakur responded. “I learned English because of you. My grandfather who raised me, I’m gonna get tears right now. I used to sit on his lap and watch you every day.”

Struggling to hold back his tears, the contestant gave a sincere thank you to Trebek for the impact he made on his life.

“It’s a pretty special moment,” he said. “Thank you very much.” Trebek was visibly moved by the sentiment.

The beloved host will be remembered for his sharp wit, his comforting presence, and his genuine love for the game of Jeopardy!.