The news was announced on Twitter by his mother Debbie alongside a photo of Smith on the popular game show’s iconic set.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” she wrote online. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
According to his online obituary, Smith died a week ago on Feb. 5. No cause of death was mentioned.
The obituary said he was a five-time champ on “Jeopardy!” having taken part in some of the final episodes hosted by the late Alex Trebek. According to the obit, he was deemed “Alex’s Last Great Champion” on social media.
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. https://t.co/aFQRt6KzPc
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) February 12, 2021
Smith intended to attend law school with hopes of working as a lawyer for the federal government and recently worked as an intern at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., researching criminal justice reform issues.
A jack-of-all-trades, he was a fan of political science, philosophy, economics, and history and was also invested in movies and music.
He was also a fan of sports — particularly the Detriot Lions — and “was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, was active in the Junior Classical League and captained his school’s Quiz Bowl team to back-to-back state runner-up finishes.”
Not long after Debbie’s announcement
“The JEOPARDY! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” they wrote. “He was kind, funny, and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”
Smith is survived by his family including Debbie, his father Scott, brother Bryce, Brock and Brody, and several grandparents and cousins, his aunt, and his uncle.
Arrangements are pending, according to the obituary. He was set to compete in the “Jeopardy!” Tournament of Champions.