‘Jeopardy!’: Current Champ Shares the Realities of His Financial Struggles

by Joe Rutland

Living paycheck-to-paycheck is how current Jeopardy! champion Ryan Long has been living for a long time and that takes a toll on a person. For Long, his work schedule has been focused on being a rideshare driver for Lyft and Uber. Yet he’s been racking up victories and now has more than $100,000 in winnings to his name. But the financial struggles have been real.

In fact, Long needed financial help with plane tickets to get out to Burbank, Calif., where Jeopardy! is filmed. According to an article from The Philadelphia Inquirer, he was hospitalized in January 2021 after getting Covid-19. Upon his release from the hospital, Long went back to his gig as a paratransit driver for SEPTA’s Customized Community Transportation program. But he could not do the work as he was no longer physically able to do it.

‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Uses Rideshare Life To Make Ends Meet Before Show

This led Long to the rideshare life until Jeopardy! would come calling. He did the rideshare work to help provide for Nathan, his son. But the game show called him in February and asked if he wanted to be on the show. Long is lined up to take home at least six figures from his time on the game show and that’s pretty cool. “If this opportunity hadn’t come up, I don’t know what I was going to do long-term,” Long said to the Inquirer.

Long just had two dress shirts packed up. He’s been relying on the show’s wardrobe department to keep him looking good as he keeps on winning. What is really on his mind upon finishing the run on the game show? “I want to take my kid fishing,” Long said. “That’s really where my head is at.”

In other Ryan Long news, he recently talked about his brain is like a “storage locker.” In a back-and-forth conversation with host Mayim Bialik, she says, “Ryan’s got so many facts bouncing around his brain he doesn’t know what to do with them all.” To which Long says, “Everything that comes out here is floating around in here somewhere. It’s just in there [pointing to his head], I swear.”

But the champ has more to say about his brainpower if you will. “It’s like a storage locker that, it’s just been filling up with stuff for, you know, four years almost,” Long says. He’s secured a spot in the Tournament of Champions so you will see Long go up against other big winners from the show.

With his knowledge and affable character, Long is becoming another fan favorite.