We've been watching the series, not knowing how far she would go. She finally lost, in her 6th game, aired yesterday:
Cindy won her first game, unseating reigning seven-game champ Tim Aten and claiming $22,801, then went on to win the remaining three games that day. She returned to Austin for a short break before the next tape session on September 13, when she won two more games and brought her final total to $103,801.The NYT article about her explains that she suffered from nausea and abdominal pain during the taping, that "her fever broke in the middle of an episode," and that her reaction time was impaired by painkilling drugs.
When Cindy was in the hospital, Jeopardy! sent her advance copies of her first three episodes, so she and her family were able to watch her realize a lifelong dream of competing on the show. Jeopardy! also expedited Cindy’s prize money, and she received and acknowledged it before she passed.
“She really saw it as a personal challenge to test herself in this forum that she watched and loved,” her longtime boyfriend, Jason Hess, said in a phone interview on Monday. “She said going in that her main objective was not to embarrass herself. Clearly, she achieved that.”...
After passing an online contestant test this year, Ms. Stowell, a science content developer from Austin, Tex., asked a producer if the show could speed up the audition process “because I just found out that I don’t have too much longer to live,” according to the show’s website....
“This was a very pleasant surprise at a time when a lot of things weren’t going right for her,” he said of the show. “She threw everything she could into it, and you can see the results.”
Ms. Stowell and Mr. Hess were college sweethearts, having met 22 years ago at Virginia Tech when she was studying chemical engineering. They would watch “Jeopardy!” together every day, he said. Trivia was a key ingredient of their social life in recent years. They often played as a two-person team at local pubs, and traveled to compete in national competitions. She was also an avid Ultimate Frisbee player and a founding member of a team at the University of Texas when she got a Ph.D. there, Mr. Hess said.