Avi Gupta amazed the fans of the game show, "Jeopardy!" when he blew away the competition for the 2019 Teen tournament. He walked away with $100,000, this past June, but nothing is more amazing than his charitable act.
The 18-year-old wiz-kid announced that he donated over $10,000 to cancer research in honor of his new friend and mentor, Alex Trebek. He donated ten percent of his total winnings to the Knight Cancer Institute in Oregon and it is just in time for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
"I was inspired to give by Alex Trebek, the host of "Jeopardy!" and someone I looked up to my whole life," Gupta said in a video announcing his support of iconic TV personality. "It was a dream come true earlier this year to finally join him on the "Jeopardy!" stage in the "Jeopardy!" Teen Tournament and I'm honored to be able to make this donation to the Knight Cancer Institute to support him and the millions of others suffering from pancreatic cancer across the world."
Gupta continued, "Our goal with this campaign is to support research into pancreatic cancer awareness and early detection and we hope you'll join us in contributing."
Too Smart For Us
Avi is currently a Columbia University freshman who is originally from Portland, Oregon. The genius even included a math joke that went over a lot of people's heads until he explained it to the local news station, KATU.
He donated the exact amount of $10,314 and the last three digits are a reference to pi. He said the number represents his "lifelong love of learning and math and science" which he credits as the reason he was so successful on the show.
Pay It Forward
Yesterday, Trebek noted that the current contestants all wore purple ribbons, which is one of the symbols in the fight against pancreatic cancer. The ribbons were worn as a tribute to Larry Martin, a former champion of the Teacher's Tournament who passed away from pancreatic cancer shortly after his winning run on the show.
One contestant appeared in Alex's short video tribute to Martin and said, "We want to show our support for everybody waging a fight pancreatic cancer, including Alex."
The show said that a donation will be made in Martin's name to the Fred Rogers Center.
When Will Alex Leave The Show?
Trebek recently admitted that his skills are diminishing and that he is having a hard time communicating due to the ulcers in his mouth. "But there will come a point when they (producers) will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s ok.'" Trebek said in a sit-down interview with CTV News' Lisa LaFlamme. " I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish.”
During the interview, he discussed when he will walk away from the long-running show and said that he is "not afraid of dying." The host has been in good spirits and joked, “One thing they’re not going to say at my funeral, as a part of a eulogy, is ‘He was taken from us too soon.'"