‘Jeopardy’ Champ During Alex Trebek’s Final Episodes Dies at 24

(Yahoo): Brayden Smith, who just last month was featured in a special Jeopardy! video tribute to the late Alex Trebek, died unexpectedly Feb. 5 in Las Vegas. He was 24.

His death was announced today by his mother Debbie Smith. A cause of death was not disclosed.

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

The show offered condolences in a tweet: “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.”

Smith’s five-game winning streak, in which he won more than $115,000, was taped in October but aired in December. Trebek, who had dubbed the quick-moving Smith as “Billy Buzzsaw,” died Nov. 8.

“Brayden attained a lifelong dream as a five-time champion on the popular Jeopardy! television game show,” his family-written obituary notes. “His appearances were among the last hosted by Alex Trebek, and Brayden was hailed on social media as ‘Alex’s Last Great Champion.’ He was looking forward to competing in the show’s Tournament of Champions.”

A 2020 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics, Smith planned to attend law school and become an attorney for the federal government. He recently served as an intern with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where he researched criminal justice reform issues.

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