Cindy Stowell died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer, but her friends and family are currently watching her “Jeopardy!” winning streak play out on television.
“That’s kind of been a real bright point among… some other tragic circumstances,” her boyfriend Jason Hess told CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Tuesday.
He was in the audience while she competed and knows how it will all turn out, but is keeping that to himself so that Stowell’s other friends and relatives will be surprised.
She won her fifth consecutive game in an episode that was broadcast on Monday night, bringing her winnings to $80,002. Her shows started taping on August 31, just three weeks after she auditioned and revealed to a producer that she wanted to compete, but only had about six months to live. She died on December 5, and the first episode she appeared in aired December 13.
Hess said that Stowell was not feeling well at the time of the taping; she was tired during breaks and worn out when it was over. But when the lights went on, she rose to the challenge.
“Call it a surge of adrenaline,” he said. “She was able to sort of fight through all that was going on.”
Stowell was “viciously intelligent but incredibly humble,” Hess said, and her winnings will be donated to cancer research.