This is awful…
Former Jeopardy! champion Brayden Smith passed away earlier this month. He was just 24 years old.
No cause of death has been published or announced anywhere, but it appears that the popular game show contestant passed away a week ago, back on Friday, February 5, according to his online obituary.
The game show contestant and successful quiz game participant had graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics in 2020.
His mother, Debbie Smith, was the one to first confirm the news of Brayden’s death on February 12, 2020. Writing about her son’s passing on Twitter, Debbie noted (below):
“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.”
So, so sad…
It makes things even more tragic that Smith himself was one of the very last champions heralded in the Jeopardy! realm by late show host Alex Trebek. According to Smith’s own obituary, he was hailed as Trebek’s “Last Great Champion,” and was one of the final contestants to appear on the popular game show prior to the Canadian host’s own death from pancreatic cancer in November of 2020.
During his notable five-game winning streak on the show last November, the recent college graduate won an incredible $115,798 in prize money. He had been planning to compete on the show’s Tournament of Champions later this year.
In an interview about the show he did back in January, Smith raved about Trebek at the time, and said (below):
“The best part of it for me was spending time with him. 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.”
And now, they are both gone…
In a statement, the show responded to E! News‘ request for comment with their own condolences, saying:
“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.”
Too many people are leaving this world in sudden, unexpected ways, and we’re worse off for it. Our thoughts, prayers, love, and condolences go out to Smith’s parents, family, friends, and loved ones as they grapple with this unexpected and tragic outcome.
Rest in Peace, Brayden…
[Image via Jeopardy!/YouTube]