Wheel of Fortune tweeted its support of the decision to give Trebek the win. Trebek’s son and daughter accepted the award on his behalf. Trebek died last year of pancreatic cancer after hosting Jeopardy! for 37 years. He was 80.
“We are so honored to accept this award on behalf of our dad,” Matt Trebek said, standing at his father’s Jeopardy! podium. “For as long as we can remember, he was always so proud to be a part of Jeopardy!, to work on a show that was based on knowledge, risk and that challenged people how to think. He loved every bit of it.”
It’s been a struggle for Jeopardy! since losing Trebek. He was the center of the show for 37 years, and since his death, the show has used a series of guest hosts. Some good and some less so, but Jeopardy! still feels like itself.
Ken Jennings, the show’s greatest player of all time and potential Trebek replacement, tweeted his excitement about the win.
“Congrats to my friends at @Jeopardy! Well-deserved for keeping the answers and questions coming during a VERY eventful year.”
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Wanted ‘Jeopardy!’ to Win
It was no secret Wheel of Fortune wanted Jeopardy! and especially Alex Trebek to win for the Emmy. The show campaigned on their behalf. All this, even though Trebek has mopped the floor with his competition over the years. He’s earned 32 Daytime Emmy nominations across his career, most competing against Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune. And Trebek has almost always come out on top.
“Well, Alex has won a lot. I presume he will win again. And I hope he does,” Sajak said. “Yeah, I’m rooting for it.”
Sajak, however, joked that he was more famous for losing awards than winning them.
“I’m the Susan Lucci of game shows. Last time I won was 1998,” Sajak added.
Lucci, a soap opera actress, was nominated nearly 20 times before she won her first statue. Sajak has a much higher batting average than that.
But even some of the newer hosts said there were pulling for Trebek to win the Daytime Emmy Award.
Wayne Brady, who was also nominated for his work on Let’s Make a Deal, also said he was pulling for a Trebek win.
“Well, I mean, how are you supposed to feel. It’s an honor. And this isn’t the first time I was nominated against Alex, and to have him be nominated posthumously, I think just speaks volumes about his work, and how much people loved Alex,” Brady said. “Would I want him to win? Absolutely.”