‘Jeopardy!’ Champs ‘Gutted’ by Death of Alex Trebek: ‘You Will Never Be Replaced in Our Hearts’

Trebek “was an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that,” James Holzhauer writes in tribute

Last Updated: November 8, 2020 @ 12:26 PM

The death of Alex Trebek on Sunday has been met with nationwide grief and the show’s three biggest winners — Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter — took to Twitter to share their heartache.

Holzhauer, the professional sports gambler who became the show’s third-highest-earning contestant with $2,464,216 in his 33 appearances, called Trebek “an impartial arbiter of truth and facts.”

“It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex,” Holzhauer wrote. “Alex was so much more than a host. He was an impartial arbiter of truth and facts in a world that needs exactly that. He was someone you could count on to entertain you every weekday, even when his health barely allowed it. And he was an underrated rapper… It was one of the great privileges of my life to spend time with this courageous man while he fought the battle of his life. You will never be replaced in our hearts, Alex.”

Jennings, the $5,223,414 winner and record-holder for the longest winning streak on the show with 74 wins, spoke of Trebek’s decency. “Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him,” he wrote. “Thinking today about his family and his Jeopardy! family–which, in a way, included millions of us.”

But it was the Rutter who summed up succinctly what everyone “Jeopardy!” fan feels on this day: “Just gutted. There will never be another. RIP, Alex, and thank you so much for everything.”

Trebek died Sunday after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 80. Episodes of “Jeopardy!” that he hosted will air through Dec. 25, 2020.