Danger! Champion Brayden Smith, who appeared in some of Alex Trebek’s final episodes, has passed away, the game show confirmed on Twitter on Friday. He was 24 years old.
JEOPARDY! The family is heartbroken over the tragic loss of Brayden Smith, “the tweet reads. It was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our condolences to the Brayden family. We will miss him.
The show also shared a tweet from Smith’s mother Debbie, who wrote that the death of her son was unexpected. Later, the family told a local Las Vegas television station that he had died of complications after the surgery.
We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith unexpectedly passed away recently, she wrote. We are so grateful that Brayden was able to jeopardize his dream.
His obituary from the Dignity Memorial funeral noted that Smith was fulfilling his lifelong dream of the five-time Jeopardy! champion. He earned $ 115,000. The obituary said that he died in Las Vegas on February 5.
His performances on the show were recorded last October and aired in late December and early January. They were some of the latest episodes featured by Trebek, who died in November after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2019.
He was a voracious and self-taught reader, a lover of knowledge and a defender of justice, says Smith’s obituary. His room was full of books on political science, philosophy, economics, and history.
Alex Trebek from Jeopardy! he dies at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer
Smith graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2020 with a degree in economics and planned to become a federal government attorney.
He is survived by his parents, Scott and Deborah Smith, and his siblings, Bryce, Brock, and Brody.