'Jeopardy!' Champ Dead at 24: Brayden Smith 'Passed Away Unexpectedly'

'Jeopardy!' Champ Brayden Smith Dead at 24

Former "Jeopardy!" winner Brayden Smith, known as Alex Trebek's "Last Great Champion," has passed away at the age of 24.

The Las Vegas native, who graduated from the University of Nevada with a degree in economics, died last February 5. His mom, Debbie, confirmed the news a week later via a post on Twitter.

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

No specific cause of death was disclosed. However, TMZ reported that he died after a "medical emergency," noting he passed away due to natural causes.

Meanwhile, "Jeopardy!" also released a statement about the champion to E! News, calling him kind, funny, and "absolutely brilliant."

Executive producer Mike Richards told EW, "Alex did, I believe, really like Brayden. I could tell he very much enjoyed that young man."

According to his obituary, the young genius fulfilled a lifelong dream of competing in the famous game show.

Dignity Memorial funeral home stated: "He was looking forward to competing in the show's Tournament of Champions" where he's qualified."

for what it's worth, Trebek nicknamed him "Billy Buzzsaw" during his run on the show and even said during his gameplay, "Most impressive. I don't know what to say."

He is survived by his parents, Scott and Debbie Smith, and three brothers, Bryce, Brock and Brody.

Alex Trebek's Last Great Champion

During his run on the show, which also came with Alex Trebek's final episodes as the host, Brayden Smith won a total of $115,798.

His five-game winning streak came to an end in January.

Brayden even spoke about his time as a contestant in "Jeopardy!", saying, "The best part of it for me was spending time with Alex Trebek."

"Spending time with somebody who I had cherished in my life for such a long period," Brayden said of the late game show host. "I think back on it all the time and savor each moment that I got to have with him."

His love for "Jeopardy!" was honed as a young adult after being his school's Quiz Bowl team captain, leading them to back-to-back state runner-up finishes.

Brayden Smith's Life

Brayden Smith attended Liberty High School in Henderson, where he became a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist.

After graduating from the University of Nevada, he planned to attend law school and become a federal government lawyer.

He recently interned with Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he researched issues in criminal justice reform.

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