A "Jeopardy!" contestant tossed his chance for a cash prize on Monday night, instead using Final Jeopardy as an opportunity to deliver a special message to Alex Trebek.
"Did you come up with the right one?" Trebek asked Dhruv Gaur, one of the three competitors on the Tournament of Champions semifinal. "No?"
He then read Gaur's answer aloud: "What is: We love you Alex."
Trebek, caught off guard, at first quickly said, "That's very kind of you. Thank you." He then took a beat and grew visibly choked up, acknowledging Gaur with a meaningful nod.
Only partially able to speak, he continued, "Cost you $1995. You're left with with five bucks."
The unexpected moment comes eight months after Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which has forced him to undergo multiple rounds of chemotherapy throughout the year. Despite the physical toll the disease and treatment has taken on him, Trebek, 79, has continued to host the show that's brought him inside living rooms across the world for 35 years. In many ways, he's a pseudo-member of everyone's family.
As the show came to a close, Trebek walked over to the contestants to shake each one's hand. When he reached Gaur, he not only shook his hand but also placed his other hand on top in a subtle but poignant gesture.
Gaur isn't the first "Jeopardy" contestant to pay tribute to Trebek in some form, and he certainly won't be the last. Among other shows of support, a few weeks ago,18-year-old Avi Gupta, who won $100,000 in a teen "Jeopardy" tournament over the summer, donated $10,000 to pancreatic cancer studies at the Knight Cancer Institute in Oregon.