Coming up with a creative Halloween costume is an accomplishment in itself. But doing it so well that you get a shout-out from the person you’ve dressed up as? That’s the dream!
That’s exactly what happened to Evan Jenkins, a seven-year-old in Virginia this week. He’s a big fan of “Jeopardy” and its Canadian host, Alex Trebek.
“He claps and smiles as soon as the theme song comes on,” Evan’s mom Erika Jenkins told their local CBS News station.
Evan has been diagnosed with several disabilities and is non-verbal, but his smile makes his love for the “Jeopardy” very clear.
“As soon as Alex starts talking, Evan smiles,” his dad Jarred said.
So Evan’s parents got to work putting together an Alex Trebek costume for their son. They got a him a grey wig and a tiny suit and tie, with a Halloween-themed Jeopardy board behind him and a cardboard booth around his wheelchair.
The photo caught the attention of the real Trebek, who shared a message on the official “Jeopardy” Facebook page.
“Evan, seeing you in your costume made my day,” he wrote. “Thank you for making me smile.”
Trebek was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March 2019, but said this July he’s “doing well,” although his treatments do leave him very tired. He’s back at work hosting “Jeopardy,” which started airing new episodes in September.
His parents said they hope his costume going viral will encourage people to be more inclusive of people with disabilities.
“We want the world to see the joy that we see,” Jarred told WPRI. “Not only for Evan but for all people with disabilities. They need to be included in our society.”