As part of the game show’s Tournament of Champions, Jeopardy! paid homage to five-time champion Brayden Smith, honouring the late 24-year-old “Billy Buzzsaw” with a video and on-air acknowledgement.
In the video, guest host Buzzy Cohen remarks, “You’ve now met all 15 of the players that qualified for the Tournament of Champions,” or “nearly all” (watch it above). “Earlier this year, Brayden Smith, the great young man who won five shows and $115,000 in January, passed suddenly. Brayden’s family has set up a fund in his honour, and Jeopardy! will contribute to it. We want to send our condolences and best wishes to his family.”
Smith’s mother, Debbie Smith, retweeted the video tribute this afternoon, writing, “Our family is extremely saddened by Jeopardy’s ToC tribute to Brayden and its vow to support the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund,” with a reference to the Tournament of Champions. What a fearsome collection of Champions. Brayden would be ecstatic to be included among you.”
Brayden Smith, the late presenter Alex Trebek’s “last great champion” and dubbed Billy Buzzsaw for his rapid hand on the buzzer, died Feb. 5 as a result of medical complications. His final edition of Jeopardy! aired a month before his death, and he died three months after Alex Trebek. Smith had expressed interest in competing in this year’s Tournament of Champions.