This story originally appeared on 6abc.
A Philadelphia rideshare driver’s Jeopardy! winning streak came to an end Monday night.
Ryan Long, who lives in Philadelphia’s Mount Airy neighborhood, went into the game after earning 16 straight wins.
“Rocky Balboa, Boyz II Men, Joe Frazier, Tina Fey, Bradley Cooper, Marshmello, Questlove, Dick Clark and Grace Kelly – all famous and revered Philadelphians with another thing in common: none of them has ever won 16 straight games on Jeopardy! like our champion Ryan Long, the City of Brotherly Love’s latest contribution to American culture,” Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik said.
These famous Philadelphians got nothing on you, Ryan! pic.twitter.com/b9QZYDb56a
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) June 6, 2022
Long went into Final Jeopardy in third place with $6,800.
The Category was: “Greek Mythology.”
The Clue was: “Of the Argonauts seeking the Golden Fleece, these 2 from the same family were from Sparta according to Homer.”
Long’s response was “Who are Agamemnon and Menelaus?” That was not correct.
He wagered $6,799, leaving him with $1.
The correct response, which the eventual winner Eric Ahasic guessed, was “Who are Castor and Pollux?”
Long walked away with a total of $299,400 and will return to play in the Tournament of Champions.
“You have made the city of Philadelphia very proud,” Bialik said.
On Twitter, Long thanked “everybody who watched and supported me.”
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… (1/4)
— Ryan Long (@blirish_charm) June 7, 2022
He went on to say:
“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.”
Action News caught up with Long last month.
He said he came on the show with only two dress shirts and he forgot his glasses, which is why he had to squint so much reading the clues.
“I have to give a shout-out to the wardrobe people because they did wonders with what I brought: two shirts and two sweater vests,” said Long. “That’s all I had. That’s all I could afford. I figured I wasn’t going to be there longer than a day.”
Before his impressive Jeopardy! streak, he had a bout with COVID-19 — a fight that his doctors didn’t think he would win. But Long recovered, applied for Jeopardy! and kept on winning.
Long is a graduate of George Washington High School and went to community college for only a year
“I don’t actually know what I know,” he laughs. “I read a lot of things, and stuff gets stuck. When I was a kid, I read the dictionary for fun.”
So what’s next? Here’s what Long said on Jeopardy.com:
“People keep asking me what my plans might be. I don’t know what the future has in store for me, but I do know this: I plan on following the advice of the illustrious Ms. Jill Scott and “living my life like it’s golden.” I’ve worn a lot of hats in my years on this planet. I started out at 14 with a summer job as a furniture mover. I’ve been a dishwasher, a water ice truck driver, a piano delivery guy, an airport security worker, a supermarket cashier, a bouncer, a street sweeper, a warehouse grunt, a package handler, an office clerk, a CCT operator, a rideshare driver. And now, I’m a 16-game Jeopardy! champion. How’s that for an entry on the ol’ resume?”