Jeopardy! Champion Brayden Smith Dead at 24

Kaitlin Reilly
·2 min read

Jeopardy! champion Brayden Smith has died. The Las Vegas native was 24.

According to Smith's obituary, the game show contestant, who graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics in 2020, passed away on Feb. 5. No cause of death has been shared at this time.

Smith's mother, Debbie Smith, confirmed the news in a Feb. 12 post on Twitter, writing, "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."

Smith's obituary details his passion for Jeopardy!, where he was hailed as the late host Alex Trebek's "Last Great Champion." Smith was one of the final contestants to appear on Jeopardy! prior to Trebek's death from pancreatic cancer in November of last year.

"The best part of it for me was spending time with him," Smith said during a Jeopardy! interview in January. "To finally be on stage with somebody that I've seen five nights a week every week for over a decade was really a dream come true."

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Smith won $115,798 during his five-game winning streak. He was planning to compete on the show's Tournament of Champions.

Brayden Smith, Jeopardy!
Brayden Smith, Jeopardy!

In a statement, Jeopardy! told E! News, "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."

Fellow Jeopardy! champion Burt Thakur also expressed his condolences, posting on Twitter, "I'm stunned to hear of Brayden Smith's death. Brayden was an exemplary multiple #Jeopardy champion, 24 and about to go to law school. In our brief online interactions, he was kind and jovial. He had his whole life ahead. My [heart] goes to the Smith family."