Brayden Smith Death: Did Alex Trebek's Last Great 'Jeopardy!' Die From Surgery Complications?

Jeopardy champion Brayden Smith, who featured in Alex Trebek's final episodes, is dead. Brayden Andrew Smith, 24, who has won a five-game streak, died on the morning of February 5 at Las Vegas due to undisclosed causes, according to an obituary released by the late champion's representative. Reportedly, the young competitor who was branded 'Alex's Last Great Champion' and won more than $115,000 while in the show, died from pancreatic cancer.

The young champion's death news has been confirmed by the trivia game show on a Twitter post. "The "Jeopardy!" family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith," the post on Twitter said. "He was kind, funny, and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden's family. He will be missed," according to Daily Mail. The news came as a shock to everyone as Brayden was looking forward to competing in the show's Tournament of Champions.

Taking to social media, the show also shared a tweet by the late contestant Brayden's mother, Debbie Smith. In the tweet, she revealed in part that her son's death was unexpected and that Brayden was able to fulfil his dream of being on the show before he passed away on February 5th.

Brayden Smith dies aged 24
Brayden Smith dies aged 24 YouTube Screen Grab

Brayden Smith's Cause of Death

Brayden Smith's cause of death is said to be natural. But he was undergoing treatment at a Southern Nevada hospital for days before his death, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. While the exact cause of the young contestant's death is yet to be revealed, a family member of Smith said that his death came as a result of surgery complications. Reportedly another family member also said that Smith suffered a medical emergency before his death.

What is 'Jeopardy'?

'Jeopardy' is a quiz game show aired on NBC from 1964 to 1975 with a twist. It was initially hosted by Art Fleming before Alex Trebek took over the program in 1984 until his death in 2020. In the show, the answers are given first while the contestants frame the right questions. The show has already aired over 8,000 episodes so far. The format of the show requires two contestants and the previous show's champion to compete in six different categories in three rounds. With every correct answer, which is worth more prize money, a player advances. In case a player doesn't get any dollars in the second round then they are eliminated from the "Final Jeopardy."