The game show millions of people watched nightly for more than five decades, hosted by a man with all of the answers.
“Someone who really values knowledge, but more importantly values the people he came into contact with,” said former contestant, Barrett Block.
25-year-old Block was just 17 when he met Alex Trebek. Block, along with millions of Americans, watched the ‘Jeopardy!’ host nightly.
“Meeting someone there in person, like Alex Trebek, someone you’ve idolized your whole life, makes you feel like anything’s possible.”
That ‘anything’ for Block was finishing second as a ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant in the 2013 Teen Tournament. Seven years later, his new ‘anything’ became graduating law school. Now reflecting on his time with Trebek after hearing the news of his passing Sunday.
“Contestants on a game show, you know that’s a very uncomfortable experience. He made them feel right at home, just as if they were sitting in their living rooms at home, playing the show with their families,” Block said describing time spent with the game show host.
A contestant in 2017, a lifelong friend of Block’s and a fellow law school graduate, Zach Atwell, remembers how warm and welcoming Trebek was, even when the cameras weren’t rolling.
“We saw Alex actually sneak into the studio. He looked over to us, put his finger to his mouth as if to “shhh”. It was cool because we’re all used to seeing him in a suit and tie, but he was actually in distressed jeans and a t-shirt,” said Atwell.
The man with all the answers inspiring contestants and those watching from home. Not only with his knowledge, but with the compassion he showed those around him.
“It helped me to realize that it’s always important to follow your dreams. Even if it seems hard to achieve or it’s unrealistic,” Atwell said.
Trebek died following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was 80 years old.