James Holzhauer, one of Jeopardy!‘s most successful contestants, is raising money to fight pancreatic cancer in honor of a friend, legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek. Trebek died from the disease late last year.
Holzhauer is raising donations for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Purple Stride event in Las Vegas on Saturday. The Purple Strides are 5K walks and fun runs where participants solicit donations.
“I set a fundraising goal of $8,244. That’s the number of episodes Alex Trebek hosted on Jeopardy!,” he told a Las Vegas news station. “And I’m proud to say that donations have come flooding in!”
According to the Purple Stride Las Vegas event page, Holzhauer has raised more than anyone else, with $12,839 in donations Friday morning. That’s more than twice as much as the person with the second-most donations.
He is also involved in a team that is participating in the event. They’re named All in for Alex after Holzhauer’s habit of betting everything in Daily Double questions. The team has raised more than $13,000.
James Holzhauer has a long history of honoring Trebek even when he was alive and fighting the disease.
In 2019, shortly after Trebek had revealed his diagnosis and Holzhauer’s historic run on Jeopardy! was coming to an end, a woman from his hometown invited him to the Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Walk.
“At the end of the day, I had nothing to lose,” Zediker, who lost her father in 2010 to pancreatic cancer, told CNN. “My heart told me it was the right thing to do.”
Unfortunately, the Jeopardy! champ couldn’t make the walk, but he mailed a donation of $1,109.14. In the memo line, he wrote “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.” The amount of the check is his daughter’s birthday
‘Jeopardy!’ Raising Money for Cancer Research
Katie Couric’s time as Jeopardy! guest host comes to an end tonight. The journalist said she enjoyed her time behind the podium, but aside from that, she was immensely proud of the amount of money they raised for cancer research. Couric is on the board of Stand Up 2 Cancer and has been an advocate for early screening after her husband died of colon cancer in 1998.
The total amount the show raised during Couric’s two weeks as guest host hasn’t been released. But the show announced it would match the contestant’s winnings and donate that to Stand Up 2 Cancer. That totaled $112,503 for last week.
“This has been an extraordinary experience for me, and on a personal note, it has made me respect Alex Trebek even more than I already did,” Couric said at the start of Monday’s game. “Hosting this show is hard. And the fact that he did this while he was fighting pancreatic cancer, well that was downright Herculean. I am so proud to help carry on his legacy and raise money for pancreatic cancer research.”