With the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions underway here in 2021, the show paid tribute to the 24-year-old Brayden Smith. And as a result, we are looking back at some of Smith’s best moments on the show.
Brayden Smith was one of the very last contestants to compete in the Alex Trebek era. However, Smith died from complications following a surgical procedure back on February 5. That was just a month after his final Jeopardy! episode ran on the air. And it was just three months after Alex Trebek passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
“You’ve now met all 15 of the players who qualified for the Tournament of Champions — well, almost all,” guest host Buzzy Cohen said in a Jeopardy! video that released on Friday. 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.”
Brayden Smith’s Five-Game Win Streak on ‘Jeopardy!’
There is no doubt that Brayden Smith had some incredible moments on Jeopardy!. The 24-year-old went on an impressive five-game winning streak that netted him a total of $115,798.
But overall, perhaps his best moments were all of the ones he shared with the late Alex Trebek. For example, there was one clip where Alex Trebek gives Brayden Smith a hilarious nickname after winning one of the episodes.
“Well, you guys unfortunately got here today, you played well, but you ran into Billy Buzzsaw,” Trebek says of Smith. “And he took no prisoners. He came ready to defeat.”
Shortly after the exchange, one of Smith’s fellow contestants asks him if he wants to “go on a hike.” Brayden laughs saying, “I don’t think I’d be coming back!”
You can watch the post-game chat with Trebek and Smith down below:
There is no doubt that Brayden Smith was about as impressive as they come on the show. But in addition to all of the money he won, he also won something that was priceless — time with the great Alex Trebek.
“These people are sort of my trivia idols and to know that I’m going to be on the same metaphorical and literal stage that they were on is really something special,” Smith said in a previous Jeopardy! interview. “‘Jeopardy!’ is so much better than anything I could’ve ever imagined. Every moment since I last was on the studio lot has been a moment that I’ve been wanting to get back on there.”
“I’m really grateful for everything, all the opportunities that I had,” he added. “I was glad that I was able to show what I was capable of.”