Ken Jennings revealed the “lovely” gift he received from Alex Trebek‘s widow, Jean, when he first guest hosted “Jeopardy!” after the longtime host’s death.
“The first day I came in to guest host was just a few weeks after Alex had passed and it was a really rough time,” Jennings said in a video posted to the Jeopardy! YouTube page on Monday. “I got to the studio and one of the producers handed me a little box and Alex’s wife, Jean, had given me a pair of his cuff links that he had worn on the show.”
“What a lovely gesture that was from Jean,” he continued. “You know, at a time that was very hard for her family, dealing with a lot of grief and a lot of challenges, she thought about ‘Jeopardy!’ and she thought about me, a person she had never even met.”
Jennings concluded: “My Alex Trebek cuff links are the only cuff links I own. They’re kind of a good luck charm for me here.”
The video was shared on the one-year anniversary of Trebek’s death following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
Monday also marked the return of Jennings, who holds the Jeopardy! records for the number of consecutive games won, at 74, and the highest winnings in regular-season play, at $2,520,700, as guest host of the quiz show, taking over from Big Bang Theory alum Mayim Bialik. Jennings was also the first guest host after Trebek’s passing.
Elsewhere in the video tribute, Jennings shared how Trebek’s memory is still alive and well on Jeopardy! behind the scenes.
“I miss Alex a lot. When I’m here, I feel like he’s probably in the building somewhere,” he said. “It’s hard not to talk about him in the present tense.”