As OK! previously reported, the late Alex Trebek's last Jeopardy! champ, passed in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nev., with his mother, Debbie Smith, confirming the tragic news via Twitter on Friday, February 12.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” she wrote last week. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
No further details have been revealed amid the tragedy. However, following Debbie’s heartbreaking post, she took to Twitter again less than a day later to thank everyone for their support.
“The outpouring of love for Brayden is overwhelming,” she tweeted. “We can’t express how much your beautiful comments are comforting us during this painfully sad time. Thank you.”
Hours after hearing of Smith’s sudden death, the official Jeopardy! account shared a statement via Twitter. "The ‘Jeopardy!’ family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the statement read. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”
Smith was a champion competitor during Trebek’s final episodes before the host died of pancreatic cancer last November. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate won five games in a row and over $115,000 during his week on the show, which was filmed last October.
According to his obituary, Smith was crowned as “Alex’s Last Great Champion” on social media and “attained a lifelong dream” when he competed on the show.
“The best part of it for me was spending time with [Trebek],” Smith previously said in an interview following his winning streak. “Doing the questions and answers is almost incidental, I think, to spending time with somebody who I had cherished in my life for such a long period of time… I think back on it all the time and really savor each moment that I got to have with him.”
Smith candidly added: “Every moment since I last was on the studio lot has been a moment that I’ve been wanting to get back on there.”