A Columbia University freshman who won $100,000 earlier this year on the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament has donated part of his winnings to a cancer research center in honor of the game show's longtime host, Alex Trebek.
Portland NBC affiliate KGW reported that Avi Gupta wrote a check for $10,314 – signifying the first digits of pi – to the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute.
Gupta told KGW that he hoped the donation would fund early cancer detection efforts in honor of Trebek, who announced his own cancer diagnosis in March.
“This is in honor of 'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek, a man who's been a role model for me my whole life,” he said.
“Everyone knows someone or has been affected by cancer in some way,” Gupta added to KGW. “I believe scientists are winning the fight against cancer, we just need to help them to do more.”
Trebek, who has vowed to remain as the show's host as long as he is able, said last month that he may be forced to leave the show due to sores he has developed as a side-effect of chemotherapy treatments.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” Trebek said last month in an interview with Canada's CTV. “But there will come a point when they will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.'"
The audience for "Jeopardy!" sits at around 10 million viewers per night, making it the top-rated syndicated show on TV.
Trebek added in the CTV interview last month that he is not "afraid" to die, and quipped that no one would say he died "too soon" during his eulogy.
“I’m not afraid of dying,” Trebek said. "I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life … If it happens, why should I be afraid of that?”