"Jeopardy!" star Ken Jennings is sharing fond memories of the time he spent with the game show's host, Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer. The contestant, who is the all-time money-winning leader with more than $5.2 million pocketed since 2004, shared many experiences with Trebek during his 75 appearances on "Jeopardy!" and learned many valuable lessons along the way. One particular teaching really stood out to Jennings, he revealed to Fox News in an interview published Monday.
"I was backstage with him at a tournament and it was before the cancer diagnosis, but he was having a rotten day. He was just feeling lousy. But then the music turned on and the announcer said his name and he just turned him to Alex Trebek and walked out there," Jennings recalled.
"I asked him about it later and it was not a performance. You know, he's somebody who actually feels best and is at his most confident and capable when he's doing his job when he's hosting 'Jeopardy!' because that's the thing that he has made himself the best in the world at over the last 37 years," he continued. "I really admire that ... just the idea that the thing you love, the place where you feel like you're at home, can keep you going."
Jennings said it was a lesson he took to heart and tried to apply to his life.
"I think about that day not just when I'm on TV, but when I'm doing anything," he said, "working on a book or when I'm doing an interview, you know, I just kind of think, ‘How would Alex treat this?'"
"Jeopardy!" will not be announcing plans for a new host at this time, representatives said in a statement. Prerecorded episodes for season 37, which feature Trebek, will continue to be aired.
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