The ‘Unlikely’ Latest Jeopardy Champ Posts An Inspiring Message After His Winning Streak Ends

Ryan Long considered himself an unlikely Jeopardy winner.

“There’s no way they’re ever gonna let my mug on TV,” Long of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania told himself when he was contacted for a Zoom audition in September of 2020.

The audition went well but then he caught COVID which landed him in the hospital for two and half weeks.

“The hospital staff brought it home to me pretty quickly that they weren’t sure I’d make it. I still keep the picture my doctor gave me of my saturated lungs on my phone, as a reminder of how close I came to never seeing my son again,” Long said. “Thankfully, I did recover. The experience taught me not to take anything for granted, and it relit a fire in me that I thought had gone out a long time ago: the fire to do something with my life. I remembered that life wasn’t just about survival; I wanted to actually live and not just “get through.”

Long returned to his job however he could no longer preform his duties because of the damage done to his lungs so joined a rideshare company sometimes barely covering his bills. It was then almost 1 1/2 after his audition he got a call that he would be a Jeopardy contestant.

“With the help of friends and family, I was able to realize this crazy dream. That fire came back to me yet again; I wanted to do this. For myself, my kid, and for a thousand other reasons, I wanted to do this. I swore I wouldn’t waste the opportunity, so I went out and tried my best,” Long said.

The rideshare driver from Philadelphia ended up going on a 16-game winning streak.

“I started out at 14 with a summer job as a furniture mover. I’ve been a dishwasher, a water ice truck driver, a piano delivery guy, an airport security worker, a supermarket cashier, a bouncer, a street sweeper, a warehouse grunt, a package handler, an office clerk, a CCT operator, a rideshare driver. And now, I’m a 16-game Jeopardy! champion,” Ryan added.

After losing to Eric Ahasic, a meteorologist from Minneapolis Long posted an inspiring message on social media.


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