A good cause! After winning 32 straight games on Jeopardy!, contestant James Holzhauer racked up an impressive $2,462,216, but he has donated some of that to the Chicago-area pancreatic cancer walk in Alex Trebek‘s name.
“I really respect Alex for continuing to show up to work, knowing what he was going through, but I will say we can’t have much of a relationship off-screen because of the quiz show scandals two generations ago,” the 35-year-old exclusively told Closer Weekly at the NHL Awards on Wednesday, June 20. “I’m sure I’ll shake his hand when I see him tonight, but they don’t want us fraternizing. I think he’s doing great work, not just going to work and persevering through everything, but also being a public face of this disease that claims so many lives.”
“Honestly, I don’t know what I could spend $2 million dollars on, but I know it can help a lot of people more than it can help me,” the game show champ continued.
James also revealed that he and his wife, Melissa, are all about giving back. “There are a few [organizations] that are really near and dear,” he explained. “There is an organization [in Las Vegas] Project 150 that does wonderful work with homeless teenagers in the valley. It’s one the hardest places to be homeless I think in the conditions out there, especially in the summer. My wife and I are working with them to give a scholarship to them and give to their general fund for the kids that need it.”
He added, “I just came from a meeting at the Public Education Foundation and they told me about some wonderful work their doing with schools here and trying to identify the areas with the most need so we can help the most kids out.” What a guy!
The professional sports gambler decided to donate in Alex’s name after being invited to the 2019 Naperville Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk on July 14 by a resident of his hometown. While he couldn’t attend, he sent a check for $1,109.14, the birthdate of his young daughter, Natasha, according to CNN.
On March 6, the TV personality, 78, revealed to the world that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, although he recently revealed some good news: he’s “near remission.” “It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Alex shared with People. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory … some of the tumors have already shrunk by more than 50 percent.”
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