A “Jeopardy” champion has donated a portion of his $100,000 winnings to pancreatic cancer research to honor host Alex Trebek, a man he considers his “role model.”
Eighteen-year-old Avi Gupta, who is a freshman at Columbia University, won the “Jeopardy” Teen Tournament in June. He wrote a $10,314 donation check Monday, Nov. 4, to the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute, according to 10TV – WBNS.
“I hope it makes a difference,” Gupta said. “Everyone knows someone or has been affected by cancer in some way. I believe scientists are winning the fight against cancer; we just need to help them to do more.”
Director of the Knight Cancer Institute Dr. Brian Druker said he and his wife were so inspired by Gupta’s donation that they decided to match it.
“What a remarkable young man and what a great gesture,” he said. “We hope it inspires lots and lots more people.”
Gupta urged the younger generation to follow his lead and give generously to their communities.
“I really hope that others—young people, especially—will join me in supporting this cause,” Gupta commented. “We are the social media generation.”
Trebek, who announced his own cancer diagnosis in March, said in a recent interview that he will continue to host “Jeopardy” until “his skills have started to diminish.”
“I talk to the producers about this all the time. I say, ‘Look, I’m slurring my words. My tongue doesn’t work as well as it used to,’” the 79-year-old told CTV. “The chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly.”
In June, “Jeopardy” champion James Holzhauer donated $1,109.14 of his winnings to the Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk in honor of Alex Trebek.