Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Alex Trebek’s death and Ken Jennings, who has returned to “Jeopardy!” as guest host this week, says he received a special gift from his widow, Jean.
“I miss Alex a lot. When I’m in here, I feel like he’s probably in the building somewhere. It’s hard not to talk about him in the present tense,” he said in a new “Jeopardy!” video.
“The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time. I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that had worn on the show. What a lovely gesture that was from Jean.”
Jennings, who owns the “Jeopardy!” record for consecutive games won (74) and winnings in regular season play ($2,520,700) said he was moved by her gift.
“You know, at a time that was very had for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about ‘Jeopardy!’ and she thought about me, a person she had never even met,” he said. “And I just thought, ‘What a lovely thing to do.’ She’s fantastic.”
Jennings, who served as the first guest host on “Jeopardy!” after Trebek’s death, also said the accessory is a one-of-a-kind for him.
Jean Trebek also remembered her husband Monday, sharing a video on Instagram featuring her husband filming a message for The Compassion Project shortly before his death, in which he encouraged people to support the organization that seeks to help children learn “empathy and compassion for their classmates.”
That certainly echoes what Jean had said about her late husband in an interview with TODAY earlier this year.
“He wanted to, I think, empower people to move through whatever challenge they had in life with a sense of inner strength, inner dignity and love,” she told Savannah Guthrie.
Trebek left behind three children. His daughter Nicky also posted an image of a flickering flame in honor of her father.
Mayim Bialik, who has served as guest host for the last several weeks, also honored Trebek by posting a picture of him hosting “The $128,000 Question” in the 1970s.
“Remembering the passing of the great Alex Trebek a year ago today. Alex was a legendary entertainer, philanthropist, and lover of life. We miss you, Alex,” she wrote.