Cindy Stowell, the late content developer from Austin, Texas, who mounted an incredible run on ‘Jeopardy!’ had her winning streak snapped at six games on Wednesday evening. Stowell died earlier this month at the age of 41 — a week before her epic winning streak began airing on TV — but amassed more than $100,000 in prize money on the iconic quiz show. Her valiant effort, stringing together six straight victories all while secretly dying of cancer, captured the hearts and imaginations of Americans. Further cementing her hero status for viewers of the show, and non-viewers alike, was her pledge to donate her winnings to cancer research.
After her winning streak ended, ‘Jeopardy!’ producers posted a tribute video featuring Stowell’s story on the show’s social media accounts. Stowell not only kept secret her condition — apart from a handful of staffers and host Alex Trebek — while she was competing on the show, she also kept the secret of her tour-de-force performance in the months after they were taped in August. Apart from hearing her question answers during game-play, most viewers had heard very little else from Stowell, a true champion at ‘Jeopardy!’ and in life.
The video featuring Stowell shows some behind-the-scenes footage of her during the tryout phase of the show and an interview, during which she reveals that decades ago, she had tried out for the ‘Jeopardy!’ Teen Tournament but failed to pass the show’s written exam. Stowell reflects on her amazing run, saying that the games were “pretty stressful” given that the competition from her opponents was stiff in each contest. In one game, she staged a furious comeback after trailing both opponents by a large margin after the first round of play.
“Even when you think the odds are completely against you, somehow … via luck, or something … things can work out,” Stowell said in the interview. When she discussed her decision to donate her winnings, she became choked up. “It was kind of just a line in the sand that I drew. I wanted to donate a lot of the money to cancer research, partly because … I’m dying of cancer and I really would like the money that I win to be used to help others.” Stowell also goes on to talk about the support of her family and boyfriend, who traveled to California and were in the studio audience watching her play. Watch the full tribute video below.
Jeopardy! contestant Cindy Stowell passed away prior to her shows’ airings. Here is her Jeopardy! story, in her own words. pic.twitter.com/MYFzJfxpAJ
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) December 22, 2016
Read the full story at CNN.