Brayden Smith, who recently appeared on Jeopardy! and was hailed by fans as one of Alex Trebek’s greatest champions, has died at the age of 24.
Smith died last Friday (February 5) in Las Vegas, according to an obituary published online.
His mother, Debbie, confirmed his death on Twitter.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” Debbie wrote. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
The cause of death was not immediately revealed.
Brayden Smith death: Tributes and mourning on Twitter
Jeopardy’s official Twitter account posted a tribute to Smith.
“The JEOPARDY! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the statement said. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”
Fans of the TV game show also took to Twitter to express their shock and sorrow about the news of Brayden Smith’s death.
People who reacted to the news on Twitter included the writer Peter Fox and the digital producer, Kaitlyn Olvera.
Smith’s death comes after show host Alex Trebek passed away in November
The shocking news of Smith’s death comes after the longtime Jeopardy! game show host Alex Trebek died in November from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Trebek died on November 8 at 80.
Brayden Smith bio
Brayden Smith was born in 1966. He graduated from the University of Nevada in 2020 with a degree in economics.
He was looking forward to attending law school and practice as a federal attorney.
According to EW, he served as an intern at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., researching criminal justice reform.
He appeared on Trebek’s final episodes before the celebrated game show host passed away.
He had an impressive run on the show, with a five-game winning streak that earned him more than $115,0000.
Smith died after his episode, taped in October, aired in December. He also appeared in a special Jeopardy! video tribute to late Trebek, according to Deadline.
Brayden Smith’s five-game winning streak qualified him to appear in the show’s annual Tournament of Champions. He had spoken about looking forward to contesting.
Trebek had expressed his admiration of Smith’s performance and nicknamed him “Billy Buzzsaw,” according to TMZ.
Brayden Smith shared that he had dreamed of appearing in Jeopardy. He reportedly tried getting on the show several times before he finally succeeded.
He praised Trebek, saying that the best part of his experience on Jeopardy! was “spending time with” the host.
He said he had admired Trebek before he got the chance to appear on the show.
The young champion is survived by his parents, Scott and Debbie Smith, and three brothers.