After his success in Canada, Trebek moved to Los Angeles in 1973 to host the NBC game show, "The Wizard of Odds." After that was canceled, he was hired to host the game show "High Rollers." That gig only lasted two years, and Trebek was out of a job for a year after it was canceled in 1976.
To make ends meet, Trebek took whatever gig he could find, including emceeing supermarket openings. "There were weeks and months where I didn't have a dime," he recalled in his book.
But he was also a game show contestant himself, and won $50,000 on the show "Card Sharks." After he caught up on bills, he bought "a load of washers and dryers to donate to several nonprofits in Los Angeles," Rogak writes in Trebek's biography.