Brayden Smith, the five-time Jeopardy! champion during Alex Trebek’s era, has died. He was 24.
Smith died Friday morning in Las Vegas, Nevada, per an obituary posted on the Las Vegas Review Journal. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” his mother, Debbie Smith, tweeted. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
The official Jeopardy! Twitter account retweeted Debbie, adding, “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 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
Smith appeared on the long-running game show in December of 2020. The episodes were among the last hosted by the late Trebek before he died on Nov. 8 after a battle with stage four pancreatic cancer. He was 80.
“Brayden was hailed on social media as ‘Alex’s Last Great Champion.’ He was looking forward to competing in the show’s Tournament of Champions,” the obit states.
Smith graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics and intended to attend law school and become an attorney for the federal government. He recently served as an intern with the prestigious Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he researched criminal justice reform issues, per the obit.
“I’m really grateful for everything, all the opportunities that I had,” Smith said after his Jeopardy! streak came to an end. “I was glad that I was able to show what I was capable of.”
See more of Smith’s time on the game show in the video below.
Smith is survived by parents Scott and Deborah, and brothers Bryce, 26, Brock, 18, and Brody, 15.
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