Brayden Smith, The Trebek Era’s Last Five-Time Champion, Passes Away

Brayden Smith, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 4, 2021 game.)

Brayden Smith, who won five games in December 2020 and January 2021, passed away on February 5, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported. The cause of death was not revealed.

The Jeopardy! Fan wishes to give its condolences to Brayden’s family and friends.

According to Las Vegas local news reports, Smith had recently spent time in hospital; the cause of death was due to complications following recent surgery.

Hailed as “Alex’s Last Great Champion”, Brayden was looking forward to competing in the next Tournament of Champions. The second of four sons, Brayden was born in Henderson, NV. on September 6, 1996, to Scott and Deborah (Rudy) Smith. They survive, along with his brothers Bryce, 26, of Reno, NV, Brock, 18, and Brody, 15, both of Las Vegas, NV. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Donations in Brayden’s memory may be made to the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund, dedicated to furthering the educational aspirations of southern Nevada students.

Brayden Smith, today's Jeopardy! winner (for the January 4, 2021 game.)

50 Comments on "Brayden Smith, The Trebek Era’s Last Five-Time Champion, Passes Away"

  1. RIP. I liked this champ. 😞

  2. Hazel Blumberg-McKee | February 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm |

    My heart breaks for him, his family, and friends. I am so sorry.

  3. Marguerite H Konrad | February 12, 2021 at 12:54 pm |

    Wow, so young…he really grew on me. I was so happy he made it into the TOC. Prayers & thoughts to all his loved one. RIP…Just so sad.

  4. Oh my, how sad! Deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  5. So very sad to learn of Brayden’s untimely passing. God bless him & his family.

  6. Phil Ray, Jeopardy '98 | February 12, 2021 at 2:08 pm |

    I am shocked and saddened. I really liked Brayden. He seemed like a really nice, smart, but humble, kid. Condolences to the family.

  7. Condolences to the family , How sad enjoyed watching him play,

  8. How awful….RIP

  9. This is so sad. I really enjoyed watching him and knew that Alex was very fond of him and happy he was on the show. May you RIP along with Alex

  10. Oh,my goodness… I never saw this coming. He seemed a really nice guy. Prayers and thoughts to his family and friends.

  11. So sad, so soon of this young mans passing. May God comfort his family and give them the strength they need.

  12. So sad. I liked him a lot. Great loss for his family and friends

  13. Oh how sad. I really liked him also, and was sad when he lost
    RIP. Buddy

  14. Carole Hannan | February 12, 2021 at 3:19 pm |

    What a shame. His self-effacing style was endearing.

  15. Prayers for his family during this time of grief. What a remarkable young man!

  16. This is heartbreaking. RIP, champ. Alex was proud of you.

  17. William K Hope | February 12, 2021 at 3:33 pm |

    So sorry.
    May God look down upon him, and take him home.

  18. Oh my god he was so young. This is terrible

  19. Sad news.RIP Brayden.

  20. So sorry to hear that he has passed away. Condolences to his family. I enjoyed watching him on the show.

  21. So sorry, such a short life with so much going for him.

  22. Andrew Shanks | February 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm |

    So shocked and saddened. He seemed like a really nice guy. I was a big fan and really glad he qualified for TOCs. Bless his family in this trying time, I can’t imagine the pain they are going through right now. I’m sorry.

  23. Prithvi Sudhakar | February 12, 2021 at 4:03 pm |

    Wow, Brayden was such a good player. I loved watching his games, especially his three runaways.

  24. Beverly Barna | February 12, 2021 at 4:23 pm |

    I so enjoyed watching him scale the heights. What a tragic turn this is. Deepest condolences to his loved ones, of which, I’m sure, there are many. May Gd rest him.

  25. This is terrible news. I was looking forward to seeing him and Jason in the finals.

  26. Gail Patterson | February 12, 2021 at 4:32 pm |

    Oh my goodness! He was so young. I really enjoyed him on the show. So smart and so humble. RIP and you and Alex can start Jeopardy up yonder

  27. James Sawyer | February 12, 2021 at 4:34 pm |

    Wow, what a shock to hear that, far too young a person to pass away

  28. He was very bright. Your right Alex did like him. He got all the daily doubles. Really a tragedy. God bless RIP

  29. Rebecca Brady | February 12, 2021 at 4:45 pm |

    So very sad. I liked him as a “Jeopardy!” contestant. May he rest in peace and condolences to his family.

  30. Very sad indeed. He was fun to watch and so likable in many ways. Sending our thoughts and prayers to his family. Hopefully Jeopardy will make a donation to his family scholarship fund dedicated in his name.

  31. This has really affected me–I’m actually crying. I only knew Brayden through watching him on Jeopardy, but I think what’s gotten to me is that he was so young and so bright, and had such a wonderful future ahead of him. What a loss for his family and society.
    It’s a cliche, but no one’s life should ever be taken for granted–every day is a gift.

  32. Is Brayden not the darling young man who apologized for hitting two daily doubles in quick succession? That was so endearing. And so telling about his sensitive persona.

  33. Barbara watson | February 12, 2021 at 7:07 pm |

    So sad for family and friends, he seemed like a great young man who had a great future.

  34. Julia Welbon | February 12, 2021 at 7:31 pm |

    He clearly was kind and thoughtful, and humbly very smart. We are very sorry to have lost him

  35. I loved Brayden ♥. He had a good friend waiting in Alex. May they both rest in peace.

  36. catherine collins | February 12, 2021 at 9:19 pm |

    How sad for the family I enjoyed watching him we need more of these inspiring young folks
    God Bless

  37. I was shocked to hear of Brayden’s passing. My condolences to his parents and his siblings.
    He was wonderful to watch on Jeopardy.

  38. What sad news, I really enjoyed the faces he made when he hit a double jeopardy. Sorry for his friends and family.

  39. To Brayden’s family…I am so sorry for the loss of your son and brother. I particularly loved when Brayden hit the “Daily Double” as Alex would begin to read the clue Brayden would “lean in” and “squint” as if to try to concentrate more on the clue as it was being read. He was not only a Jeopardy champ, he was a champion at life. My condolences…

  40. I loved watching Brayden and cheering him on. One could see him mentally working through a clue until he was sure of the answer. He was so enthusiastic and just so much fun to watch. I was really looking forward to seeing him in the tournament of champions. I’m so very sorry to his family for the loss of this highly intelligent, bright and engaging young man. You are so very fortunate to have a lifetime of experience and memories with him.

  41. Absolutely stunning.

  42. ROBIN HUDSON | February 13, 2021 at 7:54 pm |

    This is so heart-breaking. He was so young. RIP

  43. Brad (not Rutter) | February 13, 2021 at 10:44 pm |

    Horrible news. Was probably my favorite champion since taping resumed.

  44. It was abundantly clear to me, from his first Jeopardy appearance, that Brayden was a remarkable human being. Not only was he highly intelligent, there was something more about him — a sense of humility, empathy, vulnerability….a real genuine human being. I am so proud of his accomplishments and want his family to know that he was a beacon of goodness and intelligence to Jeopardy viewers and fans.

  45. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz | February 16, 2021 at 6:56 pm |

    RIP Brayden, you will be missed 🙁

  46. May this young man rest in peace. He was a good champ.

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