Jeopardy! player Ryan Long reacts to claims he 'threw the game', explains his prediction
Long went on to explain what led to his shocking defeat, alleging that his actions were a 'sign' that his winning streak was coming to an end
Eric Ahasiac, a meteorologist from Minneapolis, Minnesota, defeated Ryan Long, the Jeopardy! fans' favorite champion, during the June 6 episode of the broadcast. Since then, Long has spoken out about the heartbreaking loss, with some fans accusing the father of one of voluntarily ending his time on the show.
Long revealed in an interview with USA Today that he didn't throw the competition, but he wasn't happy to be eliminated either. "I saw somebody say that I threw the game. I didn't throw the game," Long said. "I didn't lay down for it, but I wasn't sad that I lost either. I felt like I was maybe ready to go, but I didn't lay down." He went on to explain what led to his shocking defeat, alleging that his actions were a 'sign' that his winning streak was coming to an end.
Long continued, "But I knew I wasn't on my top form that day when the Daily Double with Dr. King came up. I've done projects on Dr. King. I've studied Dr. King. My mother told me about Dr. King growing up. I knew he went to Boston and lived there, but when I got that question when I blanked on it, I was like, Alright, well. That's probably a sign."
Over 16 games, Ryan Long has ran nine categories. NINE. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/SgKM7hNROn— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) June 4, 2022
"And I was just a little slower on the buzzer that day than normal. 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 $299K, the show's ninth-longest winning streak ever.
The tragedy began when the beloved player drew a blank as Mayim Bialik, 46, was hosting a Daily Double. Ken Jennings, her co-host, revealed he would be gone for 'months' just weeks before the decision on who would take over as permanent host. Long was in last position going into Final Jeopardy!, and he drew a blank once more. Ahasiac on the right podium, who already had $10,200, correctly answered the Greek Mythology clue with 'Castor and Pollux.'
Long entered the finals with only $6800, even Stephanie from the middle podium had it and risked $6799, guessing incorrectly and wound up with $1. Ahasiac, the new champion, pumped his fist, having accomplished what 16 previous pairs of players had failed to do.
Proud of you, Ryan!!! Time for some much deserved rest and a break from the existential confusion of seeing your own face on TV!— Li-Mae! (@l33m_z) June 7, 2022
Meeting you as a buddy has been a big highlight of 2022!@blirish_charm #Jeopardy pic.twitter.com/cLtJde2XD3
Long began his run on May 20 as the highest-scoring Philly-based candidate ever. The 39-year-old's personality and honesty about his turbulent history endeared him to fans. His father died before the commencement of his senior year of high school, from which he 'barely' graduated, he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was hospitalized for many weeks in January 2021 after catching Covid- and was unable to work as a public bus driver.
To support his 8-year-old son Nathan, he began driving for several rideshare drivers. He told USA Today that he had no plans to return to his rideshare job and that he hopes his Jeopardy! appearance would be his last and inspires others to pursue their aspirations.