The cancer-stricken “Jeopardy!” contestant whose six-game winning streak ended Wednesday was fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Cindy Stowell, a 41-year-old science content developer from Austin, died on December 5, before her episodes aired.
She had been trying to get on the show since she was a teenager, her brother Greg said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday.
“She was absolutely glowing” when she heard she had made the cut, he recalled.
Stowell’s episodes started taping on August 31, just three weeks after she auditioned. It all came together so quickly because she revealed to a producer that she was battling Stage 4 colon cancer, and her doctor estimated she only had about six months to live. She died December 5, just eight days before her seven episodes started airing.
“Jeopardy!” fans have been rooting for Stowell since learning her story. Her brother attended the tapings and said he cheered her on as the episodes played out.
“It’s kind of an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “It’s bittersweet.”
“Jeopardy!” remembers its champion
Alex Trebek paid tribute to Stowell after her last episode aired.
“Appearing on our show was the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition for that lady,” he explained.
Her brother added, “‘Jeopardy!’ was not my thing. That was hers from as long as I can remember.”
The show tweeted out a video of Stowell sharing her “‘Jeopardy! story,” where she said she had been watching since the 1980s.
“I was very nervous,” she said of her Oklahoma City audition.
“Experiencing this and seeing what it’s really like in-person has been phenomenal and it’s been fun.”
Stowell also offered up an inspiring message: “Even when you think the odds are completely against you, somehow…things can work out.”
Winnings go to cancer research
Stowell won a total of $103,803 over her seven appearances, and donated her winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.
“I’m dying of cancer,” she emotionally explained in the “Jeopardy!” video. “I really would like the money that I win to be used to help others.”
Remembering his sister, Greg Stowell told CNN that she was kind, and that she was passionate about cancer research.
“If she believed in something, she wouldn’t back down, no matter how bloodied she’d get fighting for it,” he said. “And I think this is one of those causes.”