Brayden Smith, the last five-time champion from the late Alex Trebek’s era of Jeopardy!, died on Feb. 5 at age 24. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
Smith’s December 2020 appearances on the long-running game show were among the last hosted by Alex Trebek, pre-taped before the Emmy-winning host’s Nov. 8 passing after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Trebek dubbed Smith “Billy Buzzsaw,” for his ability to cut through the competition.
Hailed on social media as “Alex’s Last Great Champion,” Smith was looking forward to competing in the show’s next Tournament of Champions, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” his mother, Deborah, shared on Twitter. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
The game show’s Twitter account quote-tweeted Mrs. Smith’s message, 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.”
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A 2020 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics, Brayden intended to attend law school and become an attorney for the federal government, his obit notes.
Brayden is survived by his parents, Deborah and Scott, and brothers Bryce, 26, Brock, 18, and Brody, 15, among others.
Watch a recap of his five-game streak below: