One of the last great Jeopardy! champions of the Alex Trebek era has died. Brayden Smith passed away Friday, February 5, in Las Vegas after suffering complications following an undisclosed surgery. He was 24.
Brayden’s mother, Debbie, shared the news of her son’s “unexpected” passing in a social media post that 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”
— Debbie Smith (@debbieinlv) February 12, 2021
The Smith family revealed to Las Vegas’ 8 News Now that Brayden died after being hospitalized for several days following an operation. The nature of the operation wasn’t disclosed.
Brayden Smith was one of the final contestants to appear on Jeopardy! before Alex Trebek’s death late last year. Smith competed on the show in October and won nearly $116,000 during his five-gave winning streak, qualifying him for the show’s Tournament of Champions.
Jeopardy! issued a statement following Smith’s untimely passing, saying:
“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.”
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
Our thoughts and prayers are with Brayden’s loved ones as they grief this tragic loss.