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Ken Jennings doesn’t want to permanently host ‘Jeopardy!’
“Jeopardy!” stars Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer and Brad Rutter plus Sara Haines talk with USA TODAY’s Erin Jensen about their new game show.
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“The Jeopardy! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith,” the tweet says. “He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden’s family. He will be missed.”
The show also shared a tweet from Smith’s mother Debbie, who wrote that her son’s passing was unexpected. Neither she nor “Jeopardy!” disclosed Smith’s cause of death.
“We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly,” she wrote. “We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy.”
His obituary from funeral service Dignity Memorial noted that Smith achieved his life-long dream by becoming a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion. He won $115,000, and died Feb. 5 in Las Vegas.
His appearances on the show were taped last October and aired in late December and early January. They were some of the last episodes hosted by Trebek, who died in November following a Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2019.
“He was a voracious reader and autodidact, a lover of knowledge and an advocate for justice,” reads Smith’s obituary. “His room was bursting with books on political science, philosophy, economics and history.”
Smith graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with an economics degree in 2020 and planned on becoming a lawyer for the federal government.
He is survived by his parents Scott and Deborah Smith, and brothers Bryce, Brock and Brody.