Alex Trebek, Cindy Stowell

Courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc. via AP

Jeopardy! fans are bidding farewell to one extremely remarkable contestant. 

Cindy Stowell passed away at age 41from Stage 4 colon cancer on Dec. 5, just over a week before the series of episodes she filmed prior to her death made it to air. After six consecutive wins, Stowell plays her last round of the Alex Trebek-hosted game show in an episode broadcasting tonight, surely a memorable event for the woman's friends and family. 

As the end of her Jeopardy! journey came to a close, Cindy's winnings totaled $103,803, all of which she pledged to donate to the Cancer Research Institute. 

Earlier this year, Stowell, a science content developer based out of Austin, Tex., passed the online contestant test. According to the show's website, she contacted a show producer with the following question: "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."

Cindy continued, "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 try out spot to someone else."

Three weeks after her in-person audition, Stowell recorded her episodes in August and September. According to her longtime boyfriend Jason Hess, Cindy was in a great deal of pain during the tapings. None of her fellow competitors knew of her illness. 

In an interview with local news station KXAN Hess shared, "Something in her rallied to the cause, and she was strong enough for that day. There's no, no replacing somebody like that. Just have to move on and try to honor her memory."

Our thoughts are with Stowell's loved ones. 

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