Even super champions must meet their match at some point or another on “Jeopardy!”, and 16-day champ Ryan Long is no exception.
The rideshare driver from Philadelphia stunned fans with an incredible 16-day run. He earned $299,400 for his efforts and will return to “Jeopardy!” in the fall for the Tournament of Champions. Per TVLine, fellow contestant Eric Ahasic, a meteorologist from Minneapolis, beat out Long in the final round.
But Long is grateful for the time he spent on the show and everyone who encouraged him. The champ took to Twitter after the “Jeopardy!” episode aired on Monday with some heartfelt thoughts.
“So many feelings…I’m going to try and keep this short, but I’ll probably fail,” Long began in his Twitter thread. He then went on to thank “everybody who watched and supported me. I want to thank all my fellow contestants who were, to a person, exemplary human beings. I want to thank my momma and everybody who put me in the position to do this — I owe them everything.”
The “Jeopardy!” champ continued, “Sometimes it seems like society put you in a box, and you are classified as a certain thing with a certain destiny, even though you may feel differently inside. For the longest time, I didn’t believe that a person could really break out of that box. But I feel like this thing that just happened is proof that you can.”
Long has endured a lot in the last several years, including a rough battle with COVID-19. But he managed to pull through and still kick butt on “Jeopardy!”.
“Trust yourself, hold on to your dreams, you know who you really are. Take your shot, and don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do this or that, or you should be doing things a certain way. As my grandmom would’ve said, never let ANYBODY steal your shine. Much love to everybody. See you in the fall,” he concluded.
‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Voice Their Support for Long After His Streak Ends
Many “Jeopardy!” fans took to the comments of Long’s post to wish him well and express their thanks for being an incredible contestant.
“You were so much fun to watch, just a very smart, humble young man. I hope the rest of your life is wonderful,” one fan commented.
“It was a pleasure watching you play. Will miss your calming presence on the stage. You made Philly proud. A true people’s champion,” someone else wrote.
“You have been my favorite player to watch on #jeopardy,” another fan said. “You brought a true humility to our living rooms each episode and it was pure joy to see you become a part of Jeopardy history. My best to you and thank you!”
Although Ryan Long’s “Jeopardy!” streak has ended, we know we’ll see him again on our screens this fall for the Tournament of Champions.