'Jeopardy!' Contestant Who Died Before Her Appearances Aired Wins for Sixth Time
The Texas Jeopardy! contestant whose show aired days after her death from cancer has won for the sixth straight time.
Cindy Stowell, 41, was chosen to appear on the beloved quiz show after while she was battling Stage 4 colon cancer in August.
Stowell, who died December 5, became the first contestant to ever appear on the show posthumously when her initial episode aired December 13, just over a week later.
In the episode that aired Tuesday, the Austin woman with a Ph.D. in engineering won for the sixth time.
The win put the Austin, Texas, native's winnings at more than $103,000, which will be donated to cancer research.
Her death was announced by boyfriend Jason Hess on Twitter, who wrote: “In the early morning hours cancer took the best friend, partner and pub trivia teammate a guy could ask for. Love you always @nanocind.”
Only host Alex Trebek and a handful of Jeopardy! staffers were aware Stowell only had about six months to live. None of her fellow contestants knew she will terminally ill.
"Cindy came on Jeopardy! to play the game she loved and in doing so, she was able to make a contribution to cancer research in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did," her loved ones said in an In memorial page posted to the Jeopardy! website.
Cindy passed the online contestant test in early 2016. This summer, she received an invitation to the next round of the process, an in-person audition in Oklahoma City.
She reached out to Jeopardy! contestant producer Maggie Speak with this message:
"Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in person interview, and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about 6 months. 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."
Stowell entered "Final Jeopardy" trailing fellow contestant Julia Kite by $10,000. However, Stowell emerged victorious after she was the only contestant to correctly answer "Maryland" to the question: "If this U.S. state was a country, it would have been in the top 10 in gold medals with 14 — 9 of them by 1 man and 1 woman."
Kite tweeted about her loss to Stowell after the show aired Tuesday. "Was disappointed to lose at the very end, but now so happy Cindy's research fund legacy is in 6 digits. She is queen!" Kite wrote.