A Jeopardy contestant shared a sweet message of support for Alex Trebek, who is being treated for pancreatic cancer, prompting the famously unflappable host to tear up during Monday's episode.
During the "Final Jeopardy" round, contestants were asked to name an 1890 exposé about poverty in New York. Trebek prepared to read contestant Dhruv Gaur's answer and instead saw a message: "We love you, Alex!"
Trebek in March announced his diagnosis with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After treatment, the 79-year-old returned to work at the end of August, when taping for this season began.
"We were all hurting for him so badly," Gaur said in a tweet. "When Final Jeopardy came up, I could’ve tried to puzzle it together, but really, just kept thinking about Alex, and thought he should know."
After the music of the Final Jeopardy countdown ended, Trebek called on Gaur.
"Dhruv, you're smiling. I like that. Let's take a look at your response. Did you come up with the right one? No? What is, 'We love you, Alex,'" Trebek said, his voice thickening with emotion. "That's very kind of you. Thank you."
Trebek then directly returned to his hosting responsibilities.
Monday's episode was part of the regular Tournament of Champions, bringing back past winners who have developed relationships with the iconic host. Contestants are wearing purple ribbons to support pancreatic cancer awareness. At the end of this week, contestants have planned a "play along" fundraiser, encouraging viewers at home to donate $1 to pancreatic cancer research for each correct response they come up with.
On Monday, Gaur's final score amounted to $5, but he said he had no regrets.
"I'm just very grateful I got the opportunity to say what I know everyone was thinking," he tweeted. "Sending all the love. #weloveyoualex"