‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Ryan Long Posts Then vs. Now Photos That Showed Him Hospitalized

by Samantha Whidden

On Saturday (May 28th), “Jeopardy!” champion Ryan Long took to his Twitter account to share some snapshots of him hospitalized versus how he’s doing now. 

“A long way from this guy to this guy…” Ryan Long stated about the snapshots. The “Jeopardy!” contestant did not reveal what happened to him in the post. However, in a recent interview, it was revealed that Long struggled with COVID-19 in January 2021.

“Jeopardy!” viewers also commented on the social media post in support of Ryan Long. One supporter wrote, “Ryan, you have come a LONG way, in every sense of the word. You are an inspiration, and so many people are rooting for you. Your son has one special dad. We’re all lucky to know you, even for just this one brief moment in time. Play on, champ!”

Another supporter then shared, “What I appreciate most about your impressive play is your humble and polite approach to the game. Usually by now I’m tired of a repeat-winner, as they start to change, but not you.”

Ryan Long surpassed 10 games on Friday (May 27th) during his “Jeopardy!” streak.

Ryan Long Calls His Success on ‘Jeopardy!’ Surreal 

While speaking to the Inquirer about his success on “Jeopardy!” so far, Ryan Long stated the experience has been surreal. “It didn’t feel real until I saw myself on television, and I was like, ‘OK, so this is a thing that happened and it wasn’t a fever dream.’”

Ryan Long also admitted he didn’t prepare for “Jeopardy!” as much as other contestants have done in the past. “I didn’t study or anything,” Long explained, noting that he should have perused something, but he just didn’t. “I just kind of went in and did my thing.”

The “Jeopardy!” champion further spoke about how actually difficult it was for him to read the screens without his glasses. “When you watch it on TV, the clue is blown up big and everything, but when you get there the video clue screen is way across the stage, and it’s not that big. So if you don’t have good vision, then good luck to you, pal. You’re going to be struggling.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Long reflected on when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and how that greatly impacted his life. Although he survived, he was unable to continue being a paratransit driver for SEPTA’s Customized Community Transportation program. He decided to start working for various rideshare services in order to provide for his 8-year-old son, Nathan. 

Ryan Long then spoke about how he eventually decided to audition for “Jeopardy!” And passed the show’s initial test. This was 16 months after his fight against COVID-19. “If this opportunity hadn’t come up, I don’t know what I was going to do long-term,” he explained.