Cindy Stowell had a goal when she went on to be a contestant on "Jeopardy!" It was not to get famous. It was also not to get rich, although her objective was to make as much money as she could. According to the "Jeopardy!" website, Stowell's goal was simple, to donate all her prize money to cancer-related organizations.
Alex Trebek, in a statement posted on the site, said that it has always been her lifelong dream to compete in the game show. Although she was able to tape an episode of the show, Cindy Stowell died on December 5, 2017, just eight days before her taped show was to be aired.
It was in early 2016 when Cindy, who was a science content developer from Austin, Texas, was able to pass the online test. When she received an invitation to have the in-person audition in Oklahoma, Cindy went on to send this message to Maggie Speak, a producer for "Jeopardy!"
"Do you have any idea how long it typically takes between an in-person interview and the taping date? I ask because I just found out that I don't have too much longer to live. The doctor's best guess is about 6 months. 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. If it is unlikely that the turnaround time would be that quick, then I'd like to give up my tryout spot to someone else."
She was told to attend the audition and if she passed, would go on to the taping. When Cindy went to the in-person audition, none of her opponents and only some staff of the show knew that she was battling stage 4 cancer. She passed that audition and went on to a taping on August 31, 2016. Jason Hess, Stowell's boyfriend, said that she "was fighting a high-grade fever (which turned out to be a blood infection) and was on painkillers while taping."
It was reported that on her December 13 appearance, Cindy Stowell became the new "Jeopardy!" champion and earned a total of $22,801 for the day.