Over the last few months, Jeopardy! has suffered tremendous losses. Losing Alex Trebek before Thanksgiving left a giant-sized hole that the iconic game series is still trying to fill. While the Jeopardy! crew and fans are still mourning Trebek’s death, the show suffered another loss as recent champion Brayden Smith unexpectedly died. After his passing, fellow champ James Holzhauer revealed donations to Smith's memorial fund have been pouring in.
Brayden Smith’s run on Jeopardy! captured the hearts of fans as a part of Alex Trebek’s final episodes. Being the final multi-episode champion of Trebek’s tenure piqued the interest of fans. So, news of Smith’s death broke the hearts of many after watching his episodes in January. Many tributes began to pour in for Smith, including from Jeopardy! legend James Holzhauer He even donated to a memorial fund for Nevada students set up by Smith’s family. Holzhauer recently revealed on Twitter that donations have continued to pour in since his initial tweet. Check out Holzhauer’s tweet below:
As seen by James Holzhauer’s Twitter post, many fans still have a place in their heart for Brayden Smith. Holzhauer’s post about the memorial fund pointed to the strong fellowship amongst the Jeopardy! champions. There’s a connection to the iconic game show that none may ever understand except for the selected few. Plus, having a fund set up to benefit education is something many people can get behind. It’s just another way for the fans and public to still stay connected to the deceased Jeopardy competitor. His run on the show and unexpected death left an impression that some won’t forget him anytime soon.
Brayden Smith had the distinction of being the final Jeopardy! champion during Alex Trebek’s lifetime. He managed to remain a champion for five consecutive episodes with a total of $115,000. He was referred to on social media as Trebek’s “last great champion” in the host’s final episodes. In addition to Smith’s run on the series, fans got to bid a final farewell for the late host, including a final message and tribute from the Jeopardy! crew. Smith and Holzhauer along with a few other past winners spoke on Trebek’s passing. So, the crew and fans have suffered two major blows in a matter of months. That would test anyone.
James Holzhauer’s update about the memorial fund showed how much of a family the Jeopardy! community is. Brayden Smith became the last connection to Alex Trebek for many fans. Hopefully, Jeopardy fans and Smith’s family will be able to come through the grief and remember his time on the game show.