‘Jeopardy!’ winner from NKY remembers Alex Trebek as ‘a class act’

‘Jeopardy!’ winner from NKY remembers Alex Trebek as ‘a class act’

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Authentic, gracious, genuine, and a class act. Those are a few of the words that come to mind when a former “Jeopardy!” winner from Northern Kentucky thinks of the show’s late host, Alex Trebek.

Rani Peffer, of Crittenden, is one of the thousands of contestants to share the stage with Trebek during the decades he spent as the host of the popular quiz show.

She made seven appearances on “Jeopardy!” between 2013 and 2014.

Peffer was a five-time winner and made an appearance in the 2014 Tournament of Champions. Even six years after her last appearance on the show, she remembers her time in the studio well.

“He would come by and talk one-on-one with the contestants during the commercial breaks, but he always just really made you feel very seen,” Peffer explained. “Like, he would focus on you and ask you questions and really listen to what you were saying.”

Off-camera, Peffer remembers Trebek as someone who would share stories about home renovation projects he was working on. He would take questions from audience members and his personality didn’t match his larger than life star-status.

“He would just never rub something or never say, ‘do you wish you bet differently on that daily double’ or ‘do you wish you had done that differently’ or ‘too bad about that,'” Peffer recalled. “He was just really good at bringing out something pleasant to talk about.”

The Northern Kentucky mother tells FOX19 Now Trebek has been on her mind since he first announced his cancer diagnosis in 2019.

“I was praying for him and hoping for the best, knowing what a fighter this man was, but knowing how lethal pancreatic cancer is,” Peffer said.

Trebek died Sunday at the age of 80 but was still taping episodes during the fall.

New “Jeopardy!” episodes will continue to air through Dec. 25, a Sony spokeswoman said.

A few years ago, in 2012, Trebek returned to this city where he lived in 1958.

What is Cincinnati?

FOX19 Now’s Tricia Macke had the opportunity to sit down with Trebek and look back on his time in Cincinnati and life.

Alex Trebek interview in 2012, speaks on time in Cincinnati, charity work, and most proud moment

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