Five-time champion of popular game show dies suddenly aged 24

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A popular game show star has died unexpectedly at just 25 years of age.

Brayden Smith, a five-time champion of Jeopardy!, died last Friday (local time) from unknown causes.

Mr Smith, from the US state of Las Vegas, was among the last contestants to appear on the show prior to host Alex Trebek's death on November 8 last year.

He won nearly US$116,000 (AU$149,600) during an incredible five-day winning streak.

A photo of Brayden Smith during an appearance on Jeopardy!.
Brayden Smith died aged 24 on February 5. Source: Twitter

Mr Smith was eagerly anticipating competing in the show's Tournament of Champions, according to his obituary.

"Brayden was hailed on social media as 'Alex’s Last Great Champion'," the page read.

The Twitter page for the game show shared a tweet from his mum who revealed her son had died.

"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," the tweet read.

Mr Smith graduated from the University of Nevada in 2020 with a degree in economics and intended on attending law school to become an attorney for the federal government.

Brayden Smith (left) appears with two other contestants on Jeopardy!.
Mr Smith (left) had an incredible five-day winning streak on the popular game show. Source: YouTube/Jeopardy!

"He was a voracious reader and autodidact, a lover of knowledge and an advocate for justice. His room was bursting with books on political science, philosophy, economics and history. He recently served as an intern with the prestigious Cato Institute in Washington, DC, where he researched criminal justice reform issues," his obituary said.

Mr Smith was a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist in high school and was the captain of his school’s Quiz Bowl team, leading them to claim second place in the state for two consecutive years.

His outstanding performance saw him awarded a prestigious prize and earned him a college scholarship.

Mr Smith leaves behind his parents, Scott and Deborah Smith, and three brothers – 26-year-old Bryce, 18-year-old Brock and 15-year-old Brody.

A fundraiser has been established to honour the young man's life.

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