‘Jeopardy!’ Releases Mournful Statement After Death of Brayden Smith, Last Great Champ of Alex Trebek Era

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)

The ‘Jeopardy!’ family is mourning another loss with their statement on brilliant young champion Brayden Smith’s unexpected passing.

Friday, recent Jeopardy! champion and one of Alex Trebek’s last favorites, Brayden Smith, unexpectedly passed away. The tragedy strikes as fans of “America’s gameshow” continue to mourn the loss of Trebek himself.

Smith left us way too soon. The spunky, unique champion died at 24-years-old last Friday, February 5. While cause of death is unknown, we do know Smith died in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.

“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” Brayden’s mother, Debbie, announced on Twitter. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on Jeopardy!.”

In response, the gameshow is honoring the “absolutely brilliant” young champion with a statement on their official Twitter account:

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

Remembering Jeopardy!’s Brayden Smith

Brayden’s accomplishments on Jeopardy! came in the last days of host Alex Trebek. The two held excellent chemistry, and it was clear Smith was where he had always dreamed of being. His intellect was only matched by his wit, and his excitement by his charm. During his run on the gameshow, Smith totaled 5 episode wins and $115,000 in prize money. 

TMZ points out that the late champion shared a similar playing style to iconic champ James Holzhauer. Neither were afraid to wager large sums of money. Moreover, both would consistently gravitate towards the “Daily Double” special.

“Brayden Smith once hit 9 ‘Daily Doubles’ in succession during the run, which is a streak that Jeopardy! had rarely seen,” adds Outsider’s Evan Reier.

For more on the young champion’s spunk, continue on to Brayden Smith, Alex Trebek’s Last Great ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ, Dead at 24.