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How did Brayden Smith die? Fans mourn 'Jeopardy!' champion's tragic death at 24: 'He had the perfect brain'

Brayden Smith’s mother Debbie broke the devastating news on Friday, February 12 via her Twitter account
UPDATED FEB 13, 2021
Brayden Smith in a still from 'Jeopardy!' (YouTube)
Brayden Smith in a still from 'Jeopardy!' (YouTube)

Five-time ‘Jeopardy!’ champion Brayden Smith has died at the age of 24. He breathed his last on February 5 in Las Vegas. Smith was best known as ‘Alex's Last Great Champion’ after he appeared in some of Alex Trebek’s final episodes before the renowned host died in November 2020.

Smith’s mother Debbie Smith broke the devastating news on Friday, February 12 via her Twitter post which read, “We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly. We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.” He is believed to die from natural causes. The official account of the TV show also shared their heartfelt condolences for the talented contestant. “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.”


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Brayden Smith (YouTube)



Who was Brayden Smith?

Brayden Smith was born in Henderson, Nevada and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2020, as revealed in his obituary. One of the brilliant contestants on the TV show, he was looking forward to competing in the show's Tournament of Champions. Smith loved movies and sports and played the saxophone. He leaves behind his parents and three brothers.

According to publication Today, Smith had also talked about how excited he was to get back on the stage when he last appeared on the acclaimed TV show. “Jeopardy!' is so much better than anything that I could even have 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. Tournament of Champions was my favorite tournament every year since I was a kid. 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.” 

Game show host Alex Trebek rehearses his lines on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show Taping on April 17, 2010 in Culver City, California. (Getty Images)


‘This guy had the perfect brain'

A lot of social media users rushed to Twitter to share their condolences. One user posted, “I’m shocked to hear this heartbreaking news about Brayden’s passing. He’s now competing on Jeopardy with Alex as the host in Heaven. Sending condolences to his family and friends.” Another posted, “I couldn't believe it. This guy had the perfect brain when it comes to the questions and especially the Daily Doubles. My condolences goes out to his family. Gone but not forgotten.”The next one said, “Absolutely heartbreaking. Brayden is one of my very favorite jeopardy contestants and seemed like an incredible, bright, charismatic person. He left a lasting impression on viewers everywhere. This one hurts.”

One individual shared, “RIP Brayden Smith, 24, recent 5-time Jeopardy champ.  So very sad to hear about this, his episodes were entertaining, and he was a relaxed and unassuming presence but very sharp.” Another added, “RIP to Brayden Smith, one of the best Jeopardy players in recent years. His evident wit & affability made me excited to meet him, & his dominant play made me excited to compete against him. I couldn’t help but be a fan.” 

TV show 'Jeopardy!' (Getty Images)