There is some very sad news coming out today from the Jeopardy! community: Recent five-time champion Brayden Smith has died.
If you have watched the game show throughout the past couple of months, you will know that Smith was the last five-day champion during the late Alex Trebek’s time as host. Despite being only 24 years old, he was able to do incredibly well and show off his aptitude. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Smith was looking forward to taking part in an upcoming Tournament of Champions.
The news of Smith’s passing was first reported by his mother Debbie, who shared the post on Twitter below. The official show account went on to quote-tweet her statement, adding that the “Jeopardy family is heartbroken” over the tragic loss. No cause of death has been released as of this time.
As we saw with all of the sadness and mourning around Trebek’s death, the Jeopardy! family is like no other. It is a group of like-minded individuals all over the country with a thirst for knowledge and understanding. Champions are treated like mental athletes, and there is joy that comes with getting to know them on a daily basis for however long they are there. There’s something so simplistic about the beauty of it: Every day is a new challenge and a new chance to show your skills. This is trivia in its purest form. Smith embraced all of this as a Jeopardy! champ — he was enthusiastic in taking on the clues and relished in the nature of the game.
In a video below, you can hear Brayden speak about his time on the show, including his understanding of how important it was to offer people cheer in a difficult 2020.
We are thrilled that Smith was able to live his dream, but heartbroken by the news of his passing. We wish his family comfort and send all of our condolences during what has to be a devastating time. We are hopeful that the series will offer up an on-air tribute at some point in the near future. (Photo: Sony TV.)