‘Jeopardy!’ Icon Alex Trebek Donated Over $9.5 Million to University While on Show

by Joe Rutland

During his lifetime, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek wanted to help others through financial donations. He did this at his university in Canada.

Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer in November 2020, was a man who would donate money toward causes near to his heart. At the University of Ottawa, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Trebek gave more than $9.5 million to support the school.

He did this while holding down his host duties on “Jeopardy!” for more than three decades.

Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Sought To Help Places That Impacted His Life

“Like most people who have achieved a certain amount of success in life, it behooves you to start giving back,” Trebek said during a 2019 CTV interview with Lisa Laflamme. He said that he wanted to give back to charities or entities “that have had an impact on your life, hopefully a positive impact.”

From his perspective, that definitely included the University of Ottawa.

Laflamme asks Trebek what he would like future students to know about him as a man. The Alex Trebek Alumni Hall is named in honor of the “Jeopardy!” host with a wall marking Trebek’s different achievements. These include not only what accomplishments he achieved at the University of Ottawa but on Canadian and American television as well.

Trebek Did Philanthropic Work Toward Making ‘Positive Difference’

“I don’t think I want them to know anything about me personally, to be quite honest with you,” Trebek said. “As the years go by, I will be forgotten. People will wonder. It’s just a name. They’ll read and say, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and then move on. But that’s fine.”

Trebek made it clear that his philanthropic work isn’t being done to receive glory.

“I’m doing it to try to make a positive difference in the world and if I can, great,” he said.

“Jeopardy!” has been using a series of guest hosts this season after Trebek’s death. No decision has been reached on who permanently will take over for him. Announcer Johnny Gilbert, who worked for years alongside Trebek, is planning to stay with “Jeopardy!” until he’s ready to retire.

Executive producer Mike Richards has said Gilbert will be with the iconic game show as long as he wants to hang around. It will be up to Gilbert to say when he is calling it a career. For now, though, he chooses to keep on working.

So, fans of the game show can expect to hear his familiar voice for a while longer.