Former reigning “Jeopardy!” champ Ryan Long is sending a message loud and clear to his fans: he didn’t throw his final game. In fact, he insists that it wasn’t on purpose when he lost to Minneapolis meteorologist Eric Ahasic on Monday.
Despite the loss, Long undoubtedly made “Jeopardy!” history. Long, a ride-share driver from Philadelphia, wowed us during his 16-streak win, which led him to a hefty payout of nearly $300,000.
“I saw somebody say that I threw the game,” he said about the rumors that he ended his streak intentionally. “I didn’t throw the game, I didn’t lay down for it. But I wasn’t sad that I lost either. I felt like I was maybe ready to go. But I didn’t lay down. But I knew I wasn’t on my top form that day, when the Daily Double with Dr. King came up.”
According to Long, the moment was heartbreaking, considering his mom had taught him so much about the historical icon.
“I’ve done projects on Dr. King. I’ve studied Dr. King. My mother told me about Dr. King growing up. I knew he went to Boston and lived there, but when I got that question, when I blanked on it, I was like, “Alright, well. That’s probably a sign.” And I was just a little slower on the buzzer that day than normal.”
Despite this, he says he wants to clarify that he’s not “taking anything away from Eric” and added that he “played a hell of a game.” Now that Long has completed his lifelong dream of competing in “Jeopardy!,” he now plans to spend his well-deserved free time with his son.
Ryan Long gets used to life post-‘Jeopardy!’
“I’ve been telling people I just want to take my son fishing,” he said. “That’s pretty much where I’m at.” However, he added that he’s also got to get his financial affairs lined up, considering he has plans for his whopping 300K.
“I’ve got to get a bunch of stuff figured out before I can even go kind of crazy. I just made my first ever appointment with an accountant today. I never had a need for an accountant, or a lawyer. Now, I’m looking into getting both, and it’s really trippy.
For Long’s fans already missing him, fret not. Long will compete in the Tournament of Champions and is spending time preparing.
“I’m definitely going to concentrate on endurance and stamina because that was not a thing that I thought about at all before I went the first time, just the sheer act of standing there under the lights all day and hustling back and forth between wardrobe and makeup and the stage,” he explained. “I’m going to try to trim down a little bit, and I’ll see what happens.”