Five times “Jeopardy!” champion Brayden Smith dies suddenly at 24


“Peril!” Champion Brayden Smith, who featured in some of the later episodes hosted by Alex Trebek, has died, the game show confirmed on Friday Twitter. He was 24 years old.

“The JEOPARDY! family are heartbroken over the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the tweet read. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”

The show also shared a Tweeter from Smith’s mother, Debbie, who wrote that her son’s death was unexpected, but gave no cause.

“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” she wrote. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”

His Dignity Memorial Funeral Service obituary noted that Smith achieved his lifelong dream of becoming “Jeopardy!” five times. champion. He won $115,000. The obituary indicates that he died on February 5 in Las Vegas.

His appearances on the show were taped last October and aired in late December and early January. They were among the final episodes hosted by Trebek, who died in November after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019.

“He was a voracious reader and an autodidact, a lover of knowledge and a defender of justice,” read Smith’s obituary. “His room was overflowing with books on political science, philosophy, economics and history.”

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Smith graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with an economics degree in 2020 and planned to become a federal government attorney.

He is survived by his parents, Scott and Deborah Smith, and his brothers, Bryce, Brock and Brody.

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Helen D. Jessen