The humble “Jeopardy!” champion Ryan Long finally watched his winning streak come to a close on Monday, June 6.
Although his main goal in coming on the show was to “at least” make it to the Final Jeopardy! round, the 39-year-old rideshare driver from Philadelphia never expected that he would become such a beloved champion or earn a spot in the upcoming 2022 Tournament of Champions.
Ryan Long Says His Knees Hurt From Standing So Long!
Ryan, it’s been a pleasure watching you play. *Arnold voice* YOU’LL BE BACK (in the Tournament of Champions). https://t.co/RQ0m7Ys7KF
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) June 7, 2022
In an interview with “Jeopardy!” producers after his winning streak came to a close, Ryan joked that his knees were hurting from standing so long!
“My knees hurt so bad right now from just weeks and weeks of standing at the podium,” Ryan said, adding that his new knee pain is “definitely worth it. Everything, I can’t even put a specific value on it. It’s been great.”
Ryan lost out to Eric Ahasic, a meteorologist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The game was a tight race, and arguably, one of Ryan’s worst during his entire run. Eric was in the lead with $10,200 dollars going into the Final Jeopardy! round. Stephanie Garrison, an actor from Laguna Hills, California, was in second with $9,200 dollars. Ryan – for the first time in his entire run – was in third with only $6,800 dollars.
Eric answered the Final Jeopardy! question correctly and won the game with $18,401 dollars. Stephanie did not answer correctly and came in second with $3,200 dollars. Ryan was also unable to come up with the correct answer and finished in third place with only a dollar.
The Final Jeopardy! category was “GREEK MYTHOLOGY.” The clue read: “Of the Argonauts seeking the Golden Fleece, these 2 from the same family were from Sparta according to Homer.” The correct answer is at the bottom of the article!
Ryan Long Says ‘Jeopardy!’ Winnings Are Going To Change His Quality Of Life
Ryan had previously discussed the financial hardships that he experienced before going on “Jeopardy!”. He found himself physically unable to perform his job after being hospitalized with COVID-19 for several weeks back in January and was struggling to make ends meet for himself and his 8-year-old son, Nathan. He even had to borrow money just to afford the flight out to California for his “Jeopardy!” taping.
Fortunately, it looks like his money problems are far behind him with $299,400 dollars now in the bank.
“It means a lot,” Ryan said of his winnings. “A complete 180 in my life, I guess, maybe even a 210.” And it’s not just the money that Ryan’s won. It’s an entire fanbase that has thrown their support behind Ryan and wish him nothing but success. That being said, Ryan isn’t going to let his newfound fame change who he is.
“I’m going to be the same. Whatever circumstances, I am who I am,” Ryan said. “But it’s definitely going to change the quality of my life.”
When asked who will be most proud of his win streak, Ryan didn’t hesitate when he said his family will be the proudest of him.
“I think he’s going to maybe look at me differently,” Ryan said of Nathan. “My mom… I don’t think she can articulate how happy she is.”
Fans can’t even imagine how Nathan will react if his father wins the 2022 Tournament of Champions later this year! He’s going up against some stiff competition from the likes of Matt Amodio, Amy Schneider, and Mattea Roach, but Ryan Long has remained cool under pressure so far, and maybe that’s all it takes to win.
And for those of you who were wondering, the correct answer is “Who are Castor and Pollux?”