Five-time Jeopardy! champion Brayden Smith dies aged 24: ‘He will be missed’
Five-time Jeopardy! champion Brayden Smith has died aged 24, having appeared on one of the final episodes hosted by late TV presenter Alex Trebek.
On Friday, Smith’s mother, Debbie Smith, released a statement announcing her son’s unexpected death.
Ms Smith wrote that they are ‘heartbroken’ to share the news and are ‘grateful’ that her son was able to appear on the American game show.
‘We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,’ she said.
‘We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.’
Jeopardy! paid tribute to Smith in a statement, describing him as ‘absolutely brilliant’.
‘He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.’
In an obituary published by the Dignity Memorial funeral home it stated that Smith died on Friday February 5.
‘Brayden attained a lifelong dream as a five-time champion on the popular Jeopardy! television game show,’ the obituary said.
‘His appearances were among the last hosted by Alex Trebek, and 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.’
A couple of months after Trebek’s death at the age of 80 on November 8 2020, Smith spoke about how honoured he felt to have spent time with the Jeopardy! host.
‘I’m really grateful for everything, all the opportunities that I had. I’m just glad we were able to do it,’ he said in January.
‘And I’m glad that I was able to show what I was capable of.’
Smith graduated from the University of Nevada with a degree in economics in 2020.
In his obituary, it said that he was planning on attending law school with an aspiration to ‘become an attorney for the federal government’.
Smith was the second-eldest child in his family of four sons. His parents, Scott and Deborah Smith, are from Las Vegas, US.
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