Brayden Smith died on Feb. 5, however, the news came out when the mother of the final five-time Jeopardy! champ announced the same on social media.
Brayden Smith died Friday morning in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 24, an obituary posted on the Las Vegas Review Journal confirmed the sad news. Details about the cause of death are still scarce.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” his mother Debbie Smith wrote on Twitter. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
The message was retweeted by official Jeopardy! Twitter account. “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,” it added.
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. https://t.co/aFQRt6KzPc
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) February 12, 2021
In Dec., last year, Smith made an appearance on the long-running game show. The episodes were some of the last hosted by the late Trebek before he passed away at the age of 80 on Nov. 8, following a long battle with stage four pancreatic cancer.
“Brayden was hailed on social media as ‘Alex’s Last Great Champion.’ He was looking forward to competing in the show’s Tournament of Champions,” the obit notes,
Smith graduated from a Nevada, Las Vegas-based University with a degree in economics and planned to attend law school. He wanted to become an attorney for the federal government.
He had even served as an intern with the prestigious Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where, according to the obit, he researched criminal justice reform issues.
“I’m really grateful for everything, all the opportunities that I had,” Smith noted after his Jeopardy! streak ended. “I was glad that I was able to show what I was capable of.” Smith is survived by his father Scott and mother Deborah, and brothers Bryce, 26, Brock, 18, and Brody, 15.