“Jeopardy!” champion Brayden Smith may be gone. But his legacy and memory continue to live onward and impact the lives of others.
In the wake of his tragic passing, his parents opened the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund in his honor. The charity supports the continued education of southern Nevada students. According to the website, Smith was a life-long learner even before appearing on “Jeopardy!” last year. Smith wanted to go to law school and eventually enter politics.
Funding for the charity will support continued education of eligible recipients. Funs will be split into scholarships, seminar tuitions, research grants, money for field trips, and also school supplies. So how can you support Smith’s dream of education? People can send their donations either via mail or pay with a credit card here. The charity encourages people to ask their employers if they’re willing to match a donation.
‘Jeopardy!’ Remembers Brayden Smith
Brayden Smith passed away earlier this year on February 5, following complications of a surgical procedure. His death came only months after the passing of late host Alex Trebek. In many ways, Smith was one of Trebek’s last champions. The host affectionately nicknamed him Billy Buzzsaw for mowing down the competition. Across five games, Smith won $115,000 in prize money.
He was also preparing for the Tournament of Champions before his death. In fact, the contestant had already begun brushing up on his Shakespearian plays and pop culture references for the event. But Smith’s health took a turn for the worst.
This week, tournament guest host Buzzy Cohen remembered the “Jeopardy!” champ. In honor of Smith and his legacy, Cohen announced that “Jeopardy!” would be donating to the charity.
“You have now met all 15 of the players qualifying for the Tournament of Champions — well, almost all of them,” Cohen says. “Brayden Smith, the incredible young man who won five shows and $115,000 in January, passed away earlier this year. Brayden’s family has established a fund in his name and Jeopardy! will be donating to that fund. We want to express our best wishes and condolences to his family.”
The announcement wasn’t lost on Smith’s parents. Smith’s mother Debbie said the family felt deeply honored that “Jeopardy!” paid tribute to her son.
“Our family is deeply touched by Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions tribute to Brayden and its pledge to support the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund,” Debbie Smith writes in the tweet. “What a formidable group of Champs. Brayden would feel honored to be counted among you.”