7 Things to Know About ‘Jeopardy!’ Champion Ryan Long

Ryan Long on Jeopardy!
Jeopardy!

Reigning Jeopardy! champion Ryan Long secured his 16th straight victory on Friday, June 3, putting him amongst some of the game show’s most elite players.

The Uber rideshare driver from Philadelphia has amassed $299,400 in total winnings and shows no signs of slowing down. There are only eight other players in the show’s history who have won more consecutive games than Long, including recent super streakers Mattea Roach (23 games), Amy Schneider (40 games), and Matt Amodio (38 games). However, he is still over $100k away from cracking the Top 10 in total earnings.

Get to know more about Long below.

He Survived a Serious Case of COVID-19

In January 2021, Long was hospitalized for three weeks with a severe case of COVID-19. He said there was a time when his doctors questioned whether he would survive. Thankfully, Long recovered, but he had to quit his job at the public transportation authority SEPTA as he could no longer handle the physical strain. He now works as a rideshare driver.

He Forgot His Glasses

During Long’s first week on Jeopardy!, many viewers were wondering why he was squinting all the time. The Philly native later revealed it was because he’d forgotten to bring his glasses, making his wins even more impressive than they already were.

He Only Brought Two Dress Shirts

Not only was Long without his glasses during his first week on the show, but he also had a limited wardrobe. However, he praised the wardrobe department for helping him out.

“I have to give a shout-out to the wardrobe people because they did wonders with what I brought: two shirts and two sweater vests,” he told 6ABC. “That’s all I had. That’s all I could afford. I figured I wasn’t going to be there longer than a day.”

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He Attended One Year of Community College

While most Jeopardy! contestants have college degrees, Long comes from more humble beginnings. He graduated from George Washington High School and attended a year of community college. Despite not having a higher education, Long has said he is an avid reader and can remember a lot of information. “I went through life absorbing stuff. That’s basically it,” he told Axios.com.

He Fosters Baby Kittens

During a recent episode, Long revealed that he once fostered “four baby kittens” and bottle-fed them before his mom adopted them. This only added to Long’s growing fan support.

He Has A Son

Long has a son called Nathan and has said that the winnings will help provide a better life for them. He also revealed that he plans to use some of his winnings to take Nathan on a fishing trip, as Long enjoys the peace and solitude of deep-sea fishing.

His Father Died When He Was 17

While his parents had separated when he was 13-years-old, Long credited his father for instilling a love of learning and trivia, and they would often read the newspaper together. Sadly, Long’s dad died he was 17, and he moved to his mom’s house in Philadelphia, where he enrolled at George Washington High.

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