Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced Monday that he could leave the trivia show in 2020 when his contract ends.

The 78-year-old Canadian born Trebek has hosted the popular syndicated game show since 1984, but on Monday he told TMZ host Harvey Levin that the odds of him staying beyond 2020 were “50-50, and a little less.” Trebek also recommended two people to replace him, and many Jeopardy! fans seem to have been surprised by the names.


Trebek first plugged 28-year-old Los Angeles Kings play-by-play commentator Alex Faust, who tweeted his appreciation for Trebek’s support:

The second person Trebek recommended for the Jeopardy! gig was a woman: Laura Coates, a legal analyst who frequently appears on CNN. On Twitter, Coates also voiced her thanks and said Jeopardy! is her “fave game show ever” before adding she grew up watching it and continues to enjoy the show with her children.

Among the other people whose names have been floated as possible Jeopardy! hosts are NBS Sports Network’s Dan Patrick, former contestant Ken Jennings and former Today show co-host Matt Lauer. However, Lauer was taken out of the running after he was fired by NBC late last year due to allegations of sexual harassment.

According to the New York Times, Andy Saunders — who runs Jeopardy!’s fan website — believes veteran CNN anchor Anderson Cooper could replace Trebek as the show’ host.

Trebek is known for being a typically cut-to-the-chase kind of host who rarely makes jokes while hosting Jeopardy! His delivery for questions on the program is usually very measured, and he also occasionally mocks contestants for guessing incorrect answers. The show went on hiatus earlier this year as Trebek recovered from brain surgery. 

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