Long went on to explain what led to his shock defeat, claiming that his actions were a “sign” that his winning streak was coming to an end
Eric Ahasiac, a Minneapolis, Minnesota meteorologist, defeated Ryan Long, The Jeopardy! Fan favorite champion during the June 6th broadcast. Long has since spoken out about the heartbreaking loss, with some fans blaming the father for voluntarily ending his time on the show.
Long revealed in an interview with USA Today that he didn’t drop out of the competition, but he wasn’t happy about being eliminated either. “I saw someone say I threw the game. I didn’t throw the game,” Long said. “I didn’t lie down, but I wasn’t sad that I lost either. I felt like maybe I was ready to go, but I didn’t lie down.” He went on to explain what led to his shock defeat, claiming that his actions were a “sign” that his winning streak was over go.
Long continued, “But I knew I wasn’t at my best that day when the Daily Double with Dr. King showed up. I have projects about Dr. made king. i have dr King studies. My mother told me about growing up Dr. King. I knew he went to Boston and lived there, but when I got that question, when I ignored it, I was like, okay, well. That’s probably a sign.
“And I was just a little slower on the buzzer than usual that day. But I’m not taking anything away from Eric [Ahasiac]. He played a hell of a game,” Long concluded. After 16 wins on the show, the Pennsylvania rideshare driver earned a total of $299,000, his ninth-longest winning streak of all time.
Tragedy began when the beloved player drew a blank when Mayim Bialik, 46, hosted a daily double. Ken Jennings, her co-host, revealed he would be away for “months” just weeks before deciding who would take over as the permanent host. Long was in last position when he joined Final Jeopardy! left, and he again drew a gap. Ahasiac on the right podium, who already had $10,200, correctly answered the Greek mythology reference “Castor and Pollux.”
Long went into the final with just $6800, even Stephanie from the middle podium had it and risked $6799, mistyped and ended up with $1. Ahasiac, the new champion, pumped his fist after achieving what 16 previous pairs of players had failed to do.
Long began his run on May 20 as the all-time top contestant in Philly. The 39-year-old’s personality and honesty about his tumultuous history endeared him to fans. His father died before the start of his senior year of high school, which he “barely graduated,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was hospitalized for many weeks in January 2021 after contracting Covid and was unable to work as a public bus driver.
To support his 8-year-old son, Nathan, he began driving for several rideshares. He told USA Today that he has no plans to return to his rideshare job and that he hopes his Jeopardy! Appearing would be his last and inspires others to pursue their endeavours.