Alex Trebek looks amazing in video update on cancer treatments

Entertainment

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It’s been more than four months since Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek announced his diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. On Thursday, he took some time to make a quick video updating his status. Frankly, he seems to be doing better than most people during COVID-19 self-isolation.

“I’m doing well,” Trebek said. “I’ve been continuing my treatment, and it is paying off. Though it does fatigue me a great deal, my numbers are good. I’m feeling great. In fact, during the break from the studio, I even wrote a book that will be coming out July 21st.”

So, yeah. Trebek has managed to not only continue to work a bit on some special Jeopardy! Projects while undergoing cancer treatments, he’s written a book. And don’t even get us started on how great his quarantine beard looks.

Check it all out for yourself:

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For all you “Jeopardy!” fans out there, do you really know everything there is to know about the show? What will you wager that you do?

Here are 22 things we think you may not know about the beloved game show.

 

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The original daytime version of “Jeopardy!” hosted by Art Fleming debuted more than 55 years ago on March 30th, 1964. The syndicated version, hosted by Alex Trebek, launched on September 10, 1984.

 

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Alex Trebek’s full name is Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek (George Alexander Trebek). His mother was French-Canadian, his father, Ukrainian. He was born in Sudbury, Ontario, on July 22nd, 1940 (he is currently 78).

 

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Trebek announced in March he had been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, though he recently reported his treatments are going well.

 

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“Jeopardy!” films a week’s worth of episodes in one day. But Trebek changes suits (he says he has “about a hundred”) between each episode to maintain the illusion of time passing.

 

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Ken Jennings holds the record for the most wins on the show — 74 times in a row…

 

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…but Jennings is not the biggest monetary winner. Brad Rutter holds the record for the most cash won by a single player: $4,688,436.

 

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Although it’s never happened, the maximum winnable sum in a single game is $566,400. A single contestant would have to sweep both boards, find all three Daily Doubles – in the top tier and at the end of each round – make them true Daily Doubles, and then wager everything in “Final Jeopardy!”

Check out the “Jeopardy!” Hall of Fame to see how top winners compare.

 

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The highest one-day winning total is $131,127. It was won on April 17, 2019, by James Holzhauer. After 32 games of “near-perfect gameplay, jaw-dropping wagers, and unmatched buzzer speed,” as Jeopardy.com put it, Holzhauer’s record-breaking winning streak came to an end.

Earning nearly $2.5 million at an unprecedented pace and closing out his regular-season career with a stunning 97% accuracy rate, Holzhauer left with more than a few “Jeopardy!” records to his name when he was finally defeated by Emma Boettcher in the episode airing June 3. Here are some of the biggest moments – and gambles – of his historic run:

  • 04/09/19: Breaks Roger Craig’s Single-Game Winnings record.
  • 04/15/19: Becomes second to Ken Jennings in Highest Winnings (Regular-Season Play).
  • 04/17/19: Breaks his own single-game winnings record.
  • 04/23/19: Passes $1 million in total winnings.
  • 05/01/19: Achieves all top 10 single-game winnings records.
  • 05/02/19: Becomes second-winningest contestant.
  • 05/24/19: Passes $2 million in total winnings.
  • 05/31/19: Wins final game of his streak.
  • 06/03/19: Finishes his streak with 32 wins.

 

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Holzhauer actually holds the top eight highest single-game winnings.

 

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Before Holzhauer’s impressive streak, the highest one-day winning total was $77,000: On September 14, 2010, when “Jeopardy!” contestant Roger Craig set the record, breaking “Jeopardy!” legend Ken Jennings’ previous record of $75,000

 

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“Jeopardy!” has won 34 Daytime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. That’s more than any other syndicated game show.

 

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“Jeopardy!” averages 23 million viewers per week. That’s more people than live in the entire state of Florida.

 

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The average “Jeopardy!” viewer is 65 years old. That’s down from the average age of 70 back in 2000.

 

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“Jeopardy!” has foreign adaptations in 33 countries. Are you ready? Arab World, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan

 

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People who have competed on “Jeopardy!” are ineligible for Wheel of Fortune, and vice versa. (They’re sister shows.)

 

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Shifting rapidly between “Jeopardy!” categories are known as “Forrest Bouncing.” Named for the 1986 Tournament of Champions winner and category-jumper Chuck Forrest, this unorthodox strategy is legal yet frowned upon by “Jeopardy!” staff because it complicates production confuses viewers.

 

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The first three-way tie for the win happened on March 16, 2007, when all three contestants answered the “Final Jeopardy!” question correctly with matching scores of $16,000 apiece. All were invited back to play the following week. Watch a clip from that episode here.

These days, a tie at the end of “Final Jeopardy!” sends the game into a tie-breaker clue.

 

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Only 3 contestants in the history of “Jeopardy!” have ever surpassed the five-game mark: The most recent contestant was Holzhauer.

 

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The “Jeopardy!” theme song is called “Think!” The notorious earworm was written by show creator Merv Griffin and was originally a lullaby for his son called “A Time For Tony.”

 

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And that little song has earned Griffin $100 million. Even though he sold Merv Griffin Enterprises to Coca Cola in 1986 (for $250M!), Griffin retained the rights to “Think!” and receives a royalty every time it’s played – be it a rerun or foreign adaptation. Not bad for a ditty that he claims “took 30 seconds to write.”

 

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During the first syndicated season of “Jeopardy!” the buzzers would sound when a contestant rang in. In 1985, producers decided to silence the buzzers because the noise was “too distracting” and kept interrupting the questions.

 

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There is a “Jeopardy!” staffer whose sole job is “button enabler.” This employee flips the switch that allows contestants to buzz in once Trebek is finished reading the answer. (Note the thin light strips on either side of the gameboard in the image above. These flash as soon as contestants can buzz in.)

This article originally appeared on Considerable.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.