Brayden Smith, a five-time Jeopardy! champion who appeared on some of Alex Trebek’s final shows, has died. The young man recently died “unexpectedly” and an exact cause of death has not been revealed at this time. Smith was only 24 at the time of his passing.
According to his obituary, Brayden Smith died in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 5. Smith’s death was confirmed by his mother, Debbie Smith, on Twitter. In her post, she confirmed the news and expressed her family’s gratitude for her son being able to appear on Jeopardy! before his death:
We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly. We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.
As mentioned, Brayden Smith appeared in some of the final Jeopardy! episodes to be hosted by Alex Trebek, before the iconic TV personality passed away from pancreatic cancer back in November. Smith quickly became a fan-favorite, with many taking to social media to express their delight in Trebek having had one final champion during his last episodes. With this, Smith became known as Alex’s Last Great Champion.”
Brayden Smith was one of the many Jeopardy! contestants to pay their respects after Trebek’s death. After news of Smith’s own passing was revealed, a statement was released from the show’s Twitter account:
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. https://t.co/aFQRt6KzPc
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) February 12, 2021