Jeopardy! paid tribute today to five-time champ Brayden Smith, honoring the late 24-year-old “Billy Buzzsaw” with a video and on-air acknowledgement as part of the game show’s Tournament of Champions.
“You’ve now met all 15 of the player who qualified for the Tournament of Champions,” says — well, almost all,” says guest host Buzzy Cohen in the video (watch it above). “Brayden Smith, the incredible young man who won five shows and $115,000 in January, passed away earlier this year. Brayden’s family has established a fund in his name, and Jeopardy! will be donating to that fund. We want to express our best wishes and condolences to his family.”
This afternoon, Smith’s mother, Debbie Smith, retweeted the video tribute, noting, with a reference to the Tournament of Champions, “Our family is deeply touched by Jeopardy’s ToC tribute to Brayden and its pledge to support the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund. What a formidable group of Champs. Brayden would feel honored to be counted among you.”
Brayden Smith, considered to be host Alex Trebek’s “last great champion,” and nicknamed Billy Buzzsaw by the late host for his quick hand on the buzzer, died Feb. 5 due to complications from surgery. His final episode of Jeopardy! had aired a month prior, and his death followed Trebek’s death by three months. Smith had said he was looking forward to participating in this year’s Tournament of Champions.
Our family is deeply touched by @Jeopardy’s ToC tribute to Brayden and its pledge to support the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund. What a formidable group of Champs. Brayden would feel honored to be counted among you. https://t.co/eJpsD4YGRY
— Debbie Smith (@debbieinlv) May 21, 2021