Brayden Smith, 5-time ‘Jeopardy! champ, dies at 24

Brayden Smith

Brayden Smith, a Jeopardy! Champ, shocked the world with his sudden passing — a few months after Alex Trebek’s passing.

In an obituary in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, it has been revealed that Brayden Smith died in Las Vegas on Feb. 5. The game show contestant died at the age of 24. His untimely passing came only a few months after Trebek lost his battle against cancer.

Smith was one of the contestants who appeared on the game master’s last few episodes before his tragic death.

Meanwhile, his mother also confirmed the news through a tweet. “We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” Deborah Smith tweeted. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”

The official Twitter account of the game show also released a statement following his passing. “The JEOPARDY! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith. He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed,” the tribute read.

About Smith

Prior to his tragic death, the Henderson-native graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, last year. He successfully completed his degree in economics.

Smith was able to meet Trebek before the host died from pancreatic cancer in November 2020.

The obituary detailed that he was “was looking forward to competing in the show’s Tournament of Champions.” Smith also, reportedly, planned to attend law school to become an attorney for the federal government.

In January, he appeared in an interview with show’s correspondent Sarah Whitcomb Foss and said that he had a whirlwind run on the show.

“I just wanted to stay there as long as possible. It’s really a great feeling to be on set — to be around smart, nice, warm people,” he said. Smith also referred to Trebek as a “sort of a mainstay in his life.”

Though the prizes made him get more praises, he clarified that meeting the late host was the best part of the experience.

He is survived by his parents, three brothers, and relatives.

Meanwhile, the viewers also sent tributes to him. One fan said, “Damn he was fun to watch. I so enjoyed when, after getting so many daily doubles, he actually apologized to his fellow contestants. Was looking forward to see him on Tourney of Champs.”

“His face always contorted like he didn’t know it or got it wrong but he was right like 99.9999999%. He was fun to watch. Almost embarrassed he knew everything. So sad. Definitely had a bright future ahead of him,” another one added.

Featured image courtesy of Jeopardy! Official YouTube Channel

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