Cindy Stowell was full of surprises. On the surface, she appeared to be just another humble, unassuming Jeopardy contestant. By the end of the first game, Cindy proved that, despite her mild demeanor, she was a force to be reckoned with. She earned $22,801 on that episode, edging out the previous champion.
Cindy went on to amass a six day run on the quiz show. Along the way, we got to learn more and more about this science content developer; each nugget of personal information making us love her just a little bit more. She told Alex Trebek and viewers all about her nail polish collection, her affinity for terrible movies, and her ultimate frisbee days. Despite all this information, almost no-one knew about the fever, nausea, or intense abdominal pain that Cindy endured while taping the show.
Cindy had stage 4 colon cancer.
Cindy fulfilled a life long dream by competing on the show, and blew expectations out of the water by winning six games in a row for a total of $103,801, as well as correctly answering every question pertaining to rap music. Her use of the nomenclature “Biggie Smalls” was quite an added delight.
Cindy’s episodes were filmed in late August and early September. They aired starting December 13th, just eight days after she passed. She never got to use the $103,801 that she accumulated, but it didn't matter, she wasn’t playing for herself.
Cindy fought to remain champion because she wanted to garner as much as she could to donate to cancer research, “in the hopes that no one else would have to go through what she did.”