KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As “Jeopardy!" continues its 2019 Tournament of Champions this week, one former winner will be missing from the lineup: Prairie Village teacher Larry Martin.
Martin, a former second-grade teacher at Belinder Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District, won the show’s Teachers Tournament in 2018, beating two other teachers to claim the $100,000 prize.
His win earned him an invitation to the Tournament of Champions, airing this week on" Jeopardy!", but Martin died in January of pancreatic cancer before having the chance to compete again.
In his memory, “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and the contestants will be wearing purple ribbons throughout the tournament “to commemorate this great player and even greater individual,” according to the show’s website.
Trebek also was diagnosed last spring with stage 4 pancreatic cancer but continued to film new episodes of the show while undergoing chemotherapy. This fall, he underwent treatment again and has said that he's unsure how long he will be able to continue to host the show, which he has done since 1984.
On Monday, an emotional moment on “Jeopardy!” nearly brought the host to tears. Contestant Dhruv Gaur, in a distant third place, used his Final Jeopardy! answer to respond instead with, “What is We love you Alex!”
The hashtag #WeLoveYouAlex began to trend on social media after the episode aired.