Toronto Jeopardy! winner demonstrates the power of infinite connections through platelet donation
By Susan Burgess
Canada’s newest Jeopardy! champion is a Toronto man who was recently honoured by Canadian Blood Services for his 100th donation of platelets.
During last Friday’s broadcast, Kris Prue was asked about his milestone donation by host Alex Trebek, who is battling pancreatic cancer.
“Alex thanked me, which was really sweet, and did so on behalf of other cancer patients as well,” said Prue. “It was a lovely acknowledgement.”
Platelets are the component of blood that helps with clotting. Patients who have low platelets or platelets that don’t function properly — such as when cancer patients are undergoing chemotherapy — need platelet transfusions as part of their treatment.
Kris Prue, right, was recently honoured by Canadian Blood Services for his 100th donation of platelets. He shared his story with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek when he appeared as a contestant on the popular game show.
Prue, 46, said he first donated blood in his 20s, but hadn’t done so for many years when he responded to a Canadian Blood Services appeal a few summers ago. After two donations, staff at the clinic suggested he switch from whole blood to platelets, and since then, he’s returned to donate every two to three weeks to support Canada’s Lifeline.
“It was a way to help,” said Prue. “As I jokingly said on social media to friends, a way to help others while literally lying down.”
Prue makes preparing for his Jeopardy! experience sound just as easy, with a process that’s less about studying, and more about following his curiosity.
“I just keep living my life,” he said. “And let interesting trivia and anecdotes stick to me like those little burrs that drift through the air in the autumn and hope they come back at the appropriate moment.”
His strategy paid off on Friday, when Prue beat two other contestants and won $37,600. As champion, he earned the chance to take on two more contestants in tonight’s broadcast.
Until that pre-taped broadcast airs, Prue is sworn to secrecy about the result, but he’s free to dream about how he’ll spend his winnings.
“(I can) come up with a few different ideas to find the right balance between responsible and self-indulgent,” he said.