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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Contestant's Supportive 'Final Jeopardy' Answer Gets Alex Trebek Choked Up

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If you’re a “Jeopardy!” fan of any caliber, you no doubt have a ranking of favorite contestants and moments in the game’s history. There are some answers and players who just stick with you, and you can’t help but love them from afar.

After Monday’s show, many viewers have a new favorite: Dhruv Gaur.

And for good reason — he put into words what everyone was thinking.

Gaur had gotten a taste of the game earlier, as he was the 2018 College Championship winner, according to the J! Archive. He walked away with $100,000 and returned for the 2019 Tournament of Champions, where he won in a different sort of way.

The question was from the “Famous Phrases” category, and the clue for the three contestants was this: “In the title of a groundbreaking 1890 expose of poverty in New York City slums, these 3 words follow ‘How The.'”

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Gaur was trailing the two other contestants, who had $19,200 and $14,800 compared to his $2,000 — and yet it was his answer to the “Final Jeopardy!” question that became the most memorable moment of the game.

Trebek commented on Gaur’s smile, and asked him for his answer.

“Dhruv, you’re smiling,” Trebek started. “I like that. Let’s take a look at your response. Did you come up with the right one? No …”

“What is … ‘We love you, Alex.’ That’s very kind of you. Thank you,” the host said, pausing for a moment, his ever-polished demeanor just slightly cracking. After a sharp intake of breath, the host continued.

“Costs you $1,995,” Trebek informed Dhruv, his voice breaking. “You’re left with five bucks. OK.”

The immediate audience was moved by the answer, and a sound of appreciation swept through them. That response has continued through viewers who watched the show when it aired Monday and even those who don’t watch the program religiously but have stumbled across the clip.

Gaur explained the reason behind his gesture on Twitter. It was clear that though he may not have won in the game, he won outside the game — and that seems to be even more satisfying to him.

“Sorry for west coast spoilers, but I’m really glad I got the opportunity to say to Alex what everybody at the tournament was thinking,” he tweeted Monday.

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“[F]or context, Alex had just shared with us that he was reentering treatment for pancreatic cancer,” he continued in a follow-up tweet. “We were all hurting for him so badly.”

“When Final Jeopardy came up, I could’ve tried to puzzle it together, but really, just kept thinking about Alex, and thought he should know.”

“I’m just very grateful I got the opportunity to say what I know everyone was thinking. Sending all the love. #weloveyoualex.”

With all the recognition his act of kindness has garnered, he’s been trying to steer people in a giving direction, encouraging them to play along and donate to a charitable, cancer-researching cause.

“With all the attention coming my way, I want to also re-up this play-along for Pancreatic Cancer on Thursday and Friday,” he shared later Monday. “Many of us are donating $1 for every question we get right when playing along at home to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Join along!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking