‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Ryan Long Tells Wild Story About His Days as a Bouncer at Philadelphia Bar

by Taylor Cunningham

Jeopardy! guru Ryan Long is a ride-share driver when he’s not winning big on the game show. But at one point in his life, he was a bouncer at a bar. And a hilarious story from that career came up during a recent chat with host Mayim Bialik.

Since joining the competition on May 13th, the returning champ has given us many reasons to root for him and identify with him.

For one, Long describes himself as just a regular guy. Instead of gaining his trivia know-how at an expensive school, he picked up all of his knowledge from his passion for reading. He also understands the real-life struggle to pay his bills, and he makes relatable mistakes. For example, Long forgot his glasses at home in PA. So while playing each night, he has to squint to see the board.

And now we know that Ryan Long has lived through strange and quirky experiences just like all of us Jeopardy! fans. Though, his tale about a rogue rodent may be a little stranger than most.

As Long shared with Bialik, he used to work at a bar in Philly named Castle Roxx. And while he has “a lot of stories associated with a job. Not all of them are Jeopardy! appropriate,” one from his time there was family-friendly enough to feature during the mid-game interviews.

Ryan Long Told a Story About a Raccoon at a Bar Tonight on ‘Jeopardy!’

As the story goes, Long and his friend Tim were behind the bar one day when a raccoon decided to pay them a visit.

“We were both standing on the step,” he recalled. “And I already started making my way up because, you know, I know about raccoons. And Tim’s sitting on the steps like, ‘what’s it gonna do, bite us? What are you, a wuss?”

Just about the time that Long’s friend got cocky, the raccoon decided to attack.

“And, of course, it goes and clamps on his foot. And I’m already inside the bar,” Long laughed.

“I’m sure there are other stories that are not Jeopardy! appropriate,” Bialik told Ryan Long. “But that’s a good one.”

Luckily, we’ll have more time to hear more of Long’s stories, too. Because after tonight’s episode (May 30th), he’s officially a 12-time winner, which adds him to the historic leaderboard filled with names such as Matt Amodio, Ken Jennings, and Mattea Roach.

And the method he used to etch his name on the board is also something many of us can identify with.

“I didn’t study or anything,” Long admitted during an interview. “I probably should have perused something, but I just didn’t, I just kind of went in and did my thing.”