Although James Holzhauer is no longer competing on Jeopardy!, the former champ (who won 32 straight games) is still making headlines. But this time, it’s for his recent good deed: donating a portion of his more than $2 million earnings to a pancreatic cancer walk in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, reports CNN.
What’s more, Holzhauer made his donation in Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s name. Trebek revealed that he was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer earlier this year and has since said his cancer is in “near remission.”
Trebek thanked Holzhauer’s daughter for a handmade card during the contestant’s final episode. “I want to express my thanks to your beautiful little daughter, Natasha, for having made this get-well card for me,” Trebek said at the start of the show. “That was very sweet of her.”
It was this exchange that inspired Ann Zediker, a resident of Naperville, where Holzhauer grew up, and a fundraiser in the walk, to invite Holzhauer to the 2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk on July 14.
Holzhauer said he couldn’t attend the event but sent Zediker a donation in the amount of $1,109.14 with the message “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.” The dollar amount represented his daughter Natasha’s birthday.
“There was no expectation on my end,” Zediker told CNN. “I was just thrilled that he responded. I knew that Alex’s story had an impact on him, just like it has an impact on anyone who’s working with a family member who’s going through pancreatic cancer.”
This isn’t the first time Holzhauer has donated some of his winnings from Jeopardy! According to The New York Post, he has donated about $300,000 to charities, including the Las Vegas–Clark County Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum and the Ronald McDonald House in Las Vegas. (He’s even planning to donate 50% of his World Series of Poker earnings to charity.)
On June 20, Holzhauer tweeted a photo of him and Trebek with the caption: “Two things I learned at #NHLAwards: This guy promised me he’d be there whenever @Jeopardy welcomes me back. The all-in hand gesture looks better from a high camera angle.”
Two things I learned at #NHLAwards:— James Holzhauer (@James_Holzhauer) June 20, 2019
- This guy promised me he’d be there whenever @Jeopardy welcomes me back
- The all-in hand gesture looks better from a high camera angle pic.twitter.com/6zElx7khpQ
Watch the video above to see some of the best moments from James Holzhauer’s record-breaking 32-game streak and click here for more on pancreatic cancer.