‘jeopardy!’-champion-brayden-smith,-known-as-alex-trebek’s-‘last-great-champion,’-dies-at-24

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Brayden Smith, a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, has died at age 24, his mother confirmed in a tweet on Friday. 

According to an online obituary published by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Smith died in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 5. The outlet reported that he was “hospitalized for days” prior to his death.

His family did not release a statement on cause of death. 

“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” his mother wrote, continuing, “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”

Past ‘Jeopardy!’ champions paid tribute to Smith

“Jeopardy” honored the champion, who CNN reported won $117,798 on the show, in a tweet on Friday. 

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

 

Past “Jeopardy” champions also paid tribute to Smith on social media. 

James Holzhauer, who won the 2019 Tournament of Champions, said he was “absolutely devastated” to lose “one of Jeopardy’s finest players and Las Vegas’s finest humans.”

 

Burt Thakur, also a “Jeopardy” champion, said he was “stunned” to learn of Smith’s death. He described Smith as “kind and jovial.”

 

Fans hailed Smith as ‘Alex’s Last Great Champion’

Smith, who CNN said filmed his episodes in October, was one of the final contestants to appear on “Jeopardy!” when it was still hosted by Alex Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer in November.

Fans described Smith as “Alex’s Last Great Champion” on social media. 

In a January interview, Smith reflected on meeting Trebek during his appearance on “Jeopardy!”

“I just wanted to stay there as long as possible. It’s really a great feeling to be on the set, to be around nice, warm, smart people and to be around Alex, who has been a mainstay in my life,” he said. 

Smith continued, “To be on stage with somebody that I’ve seen five nights a week every week for over a decade was really a dream come true.”

 

Outside of his “Jeopardy”  career, Smith interned at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics, according to his obituary

The obituary also said that Smith was looking forward to competing in the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions and had plans to attend law school. 

SEE ALSO: Alex Trebek, host of ‘Jeopardy!’ has died at 80

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