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Five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, Brayden Smith, has died at the age of 24. According to a post from his mother, Smith died on Feb.5, 2021. A news outlet in Las Vegas, Nevada — 8 News Now — reports that his family has told them his death was due to complications from surgery. However, his obituary does not mention a cause of death.
He was born on Sept. 6, 1996, in Henderson, Nevada. Smith has three brothers and was the family’s second-born son.
The champion graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2020 with a degree in economics. Prior to this, Smith attended Liberty High School in Henderson. His accomplishments in high school included being a National Merit semifinalist, captain of a Quiz Bowl team, and was active in the Junior Classical League.
He was one of the last contestants to appear on “Jeopardy!” with the late Alex Trebek as the host. His five-day winning streak won him almost $116,000.
According to his obituary, he was looking forward to competing in “Jeopardy!’s” Tournament of Champions. Many people have called him “Alex’s Last Great Champion” on social media. “Jeopardy!” has posted their condolences on their Twitter page to Smith’s family.
His family has started a memorial fund in Smith’s name. This fund will be dedicated to “furthering the educational aspirations of Southern Nevada Students.”
The champion had intentions of continuing his education to become a lawyer for the federal government. Prior to his death, he interned at the Cato Institute located in Washington, D.C. There he researched criminal justice reform issues.
His obituary described him as a fan of history, economics, political science, and philosophy — his room was bursting with these books. It also described him as a jack-of-all-trades. Smith was also invested in music and movies. The obituary also states that arrangements are pending.
He is survived by his mother Deborah, father Scott, brothers — Bryce, Brock, and Brody — his maternal grandparents, paternal grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Las Vegas Review-Journal Obituary: Brayden Smith
8 News Now: Las Vegas ‘Jeopardy!’ champ, Brayden Smith, dies at 24
Featured Image Courtesy of keith schurr’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License