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Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek with Fraser Heights Secondary teacher Ali Hasan, who competed on four episodes of the gameshow in 2018. Following the passing of Trebek, Hasan shared a few stories about his time on the show and Trebek's influence on his life.
For Fraser Heights Secondary teacher Ali Hasan, being on Jeopardy!
in 2018 was the culmination of a lifelong interest in the gameshow.
Now, following the passing of host Alex Trebek on Sunday at
the age of 80 after an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Hasan recalls
meeting one of his long-time idols and the impact it had on his life to date.
“Several different parts of my life have been influenced by
Alex Trebek,” said Hasan. “It’s almost like the passing of a family member.
It’s both sad but I also get to know he lived a full life, and I can honour him
and appreciate him for that.”
Hasan described Trebek as a down to earth, intelligent
family man who “didn’t act like a star” and was proud of his Canadian heritage.
While the rules for American gameshows limit interactions between hosts and
contestants, Hasan said Trebek took a little extra time getting to know him on
“He was very funny and very quick on his feet, coming up
with these zingers,” he said. “He was interested that I was from Canada, he
wanted to know where I lived in New West – he had worked in B.C. early in his
career and he was really interested in learning about that.
“I didn’t know until I heard it on the news that he pushed
for every episode to have a little bit of Canadian trivia in it.”
Hasan started watching Jeopardy! decades ago, and
noted he’s used the show's format as a teaching tool for students, as well as
for fun with his own family.
“A couple of days before his passing, my family and I had a
Skype get-together,” he said. “Most of my family lives elsewhere, so I made a
quiz for them about the U.S. election to see how much they were paying
attention. I got to play Alex Trebek, and then a few days later, we heard the
news and all my sisters and brothers were commiserating with me.
“It was someone I’d grown up watching and that had been part
of my life with my family, my siblings, my wife and my kids when they got to
see me on TV.”
Though Hasan only got to know Trebek over four episodes, he
said Trebek’s thirst for knowledge stood out, and he is happy to share
the same passion with one of the biggest names in gameshow history.
“He had this passion for knowledge and learning and facts,”
he said. “He was always passionate about teachers when they were on the show –
he would always praise teachers, and he’d praise the students when they had
“He was always saying they were the future and we need good,
smart people to keep our future strong. He knew the importance of knowledge and