‘Jeopardy!’ contestant from Austin dies before show airs

12/21 update: After winning six straight episodes, Austinite Cindy Stowell lost on Wednesday’s “Jeopardy!”

She won more than $105,000, money she’d told producers she intended to donate to cancer charities.

Stowell, who died days before her first “Jeopardy!” episode aired earlier this month, had been battling Stage 4 cancer when the shows were taped in late August.

Her boyfriend told KXAN being on the show was Stowell’s lifelong dream.

12/15 update: Cindy Stowell picked up another $8,600 in winnings today.

12/14 update: In her second day on “Jeopardy!” Austin’s Cindy Stowell won $8,199, placing first. Stowell, who taped the episodes in the fall, died earlier this month, before they aired. She’ll be back on tomorrow’s episode.

12/13 update: Austinite Cindy Stowell, who died before an episode of “Jeopardy!” she taped earlier this year could air, placed first on Tuesday’s show, winning $22,801 and a chance to return for another matchup tomorrow.

Original post: An Austin woman battling cancer passed away before she could watch herself compete on “Jeopardy!”

'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek with Austinite Cindy Stowell. Stowell died shortly after appearing on the show.

‘Jeopardy!’ host Alex Trebek with Austinite Cindy Stowell. Stowell died shortly after appearing on the show. (Photo courtesy of ‘Jeopardy!’)

The episode featuring Cindy Stowell was taped in August and is set to air Tuesday, according to CNN.

Stowell was 41.

In Austin, “Jeopardy!” airs weekdays at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on KXAN.

Producers of the long-running game show told CNN they believe this is the first time a contestant who taped an episode has died before it aired.

Stowell auditioned earlier this year in Oklahoma City.

From CNN:

“Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in-person interview and the taping date?” Stowell asked in a message to “Jeopardy!” contestant producer Maggie Speak.

“I ask because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live. The doctor’s best guess is about six months,” Stowell wrote.

“If there is the chance that I’d be able to still tape episodes of ‘Jeopardy!’ if I were selected, I’d like to do that and donate any winnings to … charities involved in cancer research.”

While producers and host Alex Trebek knew Stowell was battling cancer, her fellow contestants weren’t told. As is typically the case, the show did not say ahead of time how Stowell fared.

“Competing on ‘Jeopardy!’ was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so,” Trebek told CNN in a written statement.


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