A rideshare driver, who has not only become a Jeopardy! champion but also a Philadelphia hero, has ended his reign on the trivia show. Ryan Long managed to rack up $299,400 in winnings over 16-consecutive victories. It’s even more impressive once you learn that he actually forgot his glasses for a handful of episodes.
Long lost out to Eric Ahasic on Monday’s episode, bringing his winning stream to an end. The Philly native will return to the stage this fall alongside the iconic fan-favorite (and hopefully future host) Amy Schneider for the Season 38 Tournament of Champions. Despite the loss, Long posted an inspirational message to his fans and supporters, but mostly to his mom. In a series of tweets, Long said:
So many feelings…I’m going to try and keep this short, but I’ll probably fail. I want 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.
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. 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.
Despite the loss, Long has received a ton of support for his time on the trivia show and intends to spend his winnings on his son and family. The best part is that he will no longer have to drive all day in Philadelphia, which is the hardest job of all.