Brayden Smith, Five-Time ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion, Dies at 24



Brayden Smith, a voracious reader and former captain of his highschool quiz bowl crew who grew to become a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion on among the final exhibits hosted by Alex Trebek, died on Feb. 5 in Las Vegas. He was 24.

Mr. Smith’s demise was confirmed in an on-line obituary. It didn’t record a reason behind demise. His mom, Deborah Smith, mentioned on Twitter that her son had died “unexpectedly.”

Mr. Smith, she mentioned, had achieved a lifelong dream by profitable “Jeopardy!” as a contestant on among the last exhibits hosted by Mr. Trebek earlier than Mr. Trebek died in November at age 80 after a battle with most cancers.

Over six exhibits, Mr. Smith gained 5 occasions, incomes $115,798 and the nickname Alex’s Final Nice Champion, the obituary mentioned. Mr. Smith mentioned he had been wanting ahead to competing on the present’s Match of Champions in opposition to his “trivia idols.”

“‘Jeopardy!’ is so significantly better than something that I may have even imagined,” Mr. Smith mentioned in a video launched by “Jeopardy!” final month. “Each second since I final was on the studio lot has been a second that I’ve been eager to get again on there.”

Mr. Smith mentioned on the video that he had been moved by Mr. Trebek’s perseverance on the present since Mr. Trebek’s announcement in March 2019 that he had discovered he had Stage four pancreatic most cancers.

“Now everyone is aware of that he’s ailing, and to placed on a courageous face and go on the market each day and proceed to offer America and the world some good cheer, particularly this yr, was actually a testomony to how nice of an individual he was,” Mr. Smith mentioned.


Mr. Trebek was clearly impressed with Mr. Smith’s data of trivia, telling the opposite contestants after considered one of Mr. Smith’s wins that that they had performed properly, however “you bumped into Billy Buzz Noticed — and he took no prisoners.”

Brayden Andrew Smith was born in Henderson, Nev., on Sept. 6, 1996, the second of 4 sons of Scott and Deborah (Rudy) Smith.

At Liberty Excessive College in Henderson, he was a Nationwide Benefit Scholar semifinalist and led the Quiz Bowl crew to back-to-back state runner-up finishes. For his excellent play, he earned a university scholarship.

He graduated final yr from the College of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a level in economics and had deliberate to turn out to be a lawyer within the federal authorities. He had lately served as an intern on the Cato Institute in Washington, researching felony justice reform.

“The JEOPARDY! household is heartbroken by the tragic lack of Brayden Smith,” the present mentioned on Twitter. “He was type, humorous and completely sensible.”

Jack Begg contributed analysis.


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