Jeopardy! champion James Holzhauer is putting some of his massive winnings to good use already by donating to a charity that hopes to help people who, like the show's host, Alex Trebek, have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The contestant who came this close to claiming the all-time winnings record held by Ken Jennings has donated $1,109.14 dollars to a Naperville, Ill., charity walk that will raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. The dollar amount serves as a nod to the birthday of Holzhauer's daughter, Natasha, who made a "get well soon" card for Trebek. The host expressed his thanks to Natasha on air during Holzhauer's final episode.
Per the Chicago Tribune, Holzhauer was asked to participate in the charity walk by its founder, Ann Zediker, who had been a follower of his run on the show and watched him amass $2,462,216 in winnings over the course of his 32-game winning streak. Although Holzhauer wasn't able to attend the event in person, he sent along a donation with the message, "For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors."
Trebek first reveled that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March; the news was met with an outpouring of support from fans. In late May, Trebek offered a positive update, revealing that his treatment results had been "mind-bogglingly" positive and announcing that according to his doctors, he was nearing remission.
Holzhauer has also made publicized donations to other charitable causes near his home in Las Vegas, including an organization that supports homeless youth called Project 150, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, the Ronald McDonald House in Las Vegas, and an organization devoted to keeping kids in school called Communities in Schools.