Katie Couric’s journey as “Jeopardy!” guest host is well underway, and she finished her first week of hosting in significant ways. Not only did she lead the classic quiz show into a new era as the first female host, but she also raised an astonishing amount of money for a meaningful cause.
When Couric announced that she would appear behind the “Jeopardy!” podium, she also revealed that the show pledged to match all of the winnings during her hosting stint and donate the amount to Stand Up to Cancer’s pancreatic cancer research team.
After her first week behind the podium, the show will donate a whopping $112,503 to the organization. Furthermore, that number will continue to grow as Couric continues her hosting gig until Mar. 19.
Katie Couric Continues to Spread Cancer Awareness During ‘Jeopardy!’ Stint
In Nov., beloved “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, the same cancer that took the life of Couric’s older sister in 2002. Tragically, that’s not the only loved one Couric lost to cancer. In 1998, Couric’s late husband, Jay Monahan, died from colon cancer. As a result, she helped form the nonprofit organization, Stand Up to Cancer in 2008.
After Monahan died of colon cancer at 42, Couric worked tirelessly to spread awareness about colon cancer screening. In addition, Couric is also encouraging people to continue to get screened for the disease but worries the coronavirus pandemic has hindered people from doing so.
“I think as COVID begins to lift, people really need to talk to their doctors about screening,” she says. “I think that, unfortunately, because so many people were not screened over the past year or so, for obvious reasons, that there will be, unfortunately, many more cancer [cases] and the mortality rate is likely to increase.”
For Couric, getting the honor to stand behind the iconic lectern is something she describes as “kismet.” “I can’t think of anything more important than supporting cancer research,” Couric said in a recent interview. “It just means the world to me because it’s affected me so personally. And I know it probably means the world to everyone at ‘Jeopardy!’ who loved Alex Trebek.”