JEOPARDY! champ Ryan Long has LOST on Monday, June 6th.
Fans were stunned when the beloved rideshare driver was driven off the road after 16 wins, but many claimed he “threw the game.”
Jeopardy!’s relatable rideshare driver Ryan Long lost after 16 wins and $299K total on June 6thCredit: ABC
A new contestant was thrilled when they pulled ahead, as many floored fans wondered what happenedCredit: ABC
Mayim Bialik, 46, is hosting Jeopardy! for the fifth week in a row, returning after alum Ken Jennings’ prior three weeks at the helm and announcement he’d be out for “months.”
The permanent hosting slot is still on the board and will be decided by the end of Season 38 in July 2022.
But tonight was the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania rideshare driver’s last lap.
After 16 wins, the ninth-longest streak on the show ever – and $299K in earnings total – Ryan was defeated in a finish that left some fans flustered.
The trouble began during a Daily Double, when the beloved player simply drew a blank.
Wagering $2000 earlier on, he did not have a reply to the often helpful clue, as one fan lamented on Twitter, “HOW did Ryan miss that Daily Double?? HOW??!”
Going into Final Jeopardy, Ryan was in last place – and drew a blank once more.
Right podium’s Eric Ahasiac – a Minneapolis Minnesota meteorologist already with $10,200 – correctly responded “Castor and Pollux” to the Greek Mythology clue.
Ryan entered FJ with just $6800 – even middle podium’s Stephanie got it – he wagered $6799, incorrectly guessing and ending with $1.
With $18K, new winner Eric pumped his fist having done what 16 previous pairs of players couldn’t.
‘HE THREW THE GAME’
On Twitter, sad fans could not believe their eyes and wondered what happened.
“I’m so sad I don’t even have a #blindguess answer #Jeopardy,” one wrote – guessing the final clue a classic Twitter move – when Ryan was not able to cruise ahead.
“@Jeopardy Ryan you had a great run! Thanks for sharing your knowledge w us! We enjoyed watching you play!” wrote another.
However a third claimed, “What the hell was that? Ryan stopped ringing in!”
Another agreed, “Ryan Long was ready to go home. He definitely threw that game.”
A fifth wrote, “Ryan was more than tired and threw in the ti[t]le.”
A sixth simply celebrated his amazing go, “Ryan Long, you’re one of my favorite #Jeopardy contestants! See you at the Tournament of Champions!”
Another wrote, “Gonna miss you! You were a joy to watch. You earned every penny!”
Another bashed on the defeat, “I just wish it wasn’t this d**che that ended Ryan’s streak” as someone else simply tweeted in not such gameshow-like language, “F**k Eric.”
One more wrote, “I think Ryan just wants to go home,” as another user replied, “He didn’t seem like himself tonight.”
Tonight, Ryan came in last, and in tow was statistically the worst performer of the three contestants.
He got 14 correct responses and 5 incorrect, much lower than his 88% overall average of correct responses per Daily Box Scores.
He also responded to only 53% of clues compared to his usual 66% – perhaps why some fans were so surprised.
Overall, he got 405 clues correct and 64 incorrect during his impressive and empathetic ride- and 14/22 Daily Doubles overall, making tonight’s showing all the more heartbreaking.
Ryan’s entire run was covered by The Sun – here’s a look at his finest moments.
RYAN’S WILD RIDE
The top-scoring Philly-based contestant ever, Ryan began his run on May 20th.
His big personality, consistent pop culture category sweeps and humbly hilarious Q&A stories have thrilled fans who may not have expected another streak so soon.
The broad-shouldered brainiac – who’d look down at his winning score and shake his head in bewilderment – began by pumping out an Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.
More earnestly, Ryan spoke about his son and brought Mayim near tears in another Q&A.
“He wants to come to California, he wants to go to the theme parks – the best thing is, I have time to do these things with him now.
“I don’t have to, you know, work and say ‘I can’t do it,’ now we can just go wherever we want,” silence filling the purple-blue stage.
Mayim, who has two boys with her ex-husband, fanned her flushed face and replied, “That is wonderful, gave me chills. Alright… back to the game.”
He has also shared he was a bouncer in Philly – where he was chased by a raccoon – picked peas on a Mennonite farm, and grew up on Alex Trebek with his mom.
He even sweetly recanted he once fostered “four baby kittens” and “bottle-fed them” before his mom adopted them, and noted as his tales continued to turn heads, “People are gonna think I’m weird with all these stories.”
Ryan was extremely online as games aired, tweeting updates like, “Aslo, while I’m here, let me settle this once and for all…it’s fog. I’m definitely getting a new pair of glasses. So, new shirts. New glasses. On the list. #jeopardy.”
“Aslo. Oy vey, it’s late,” he added.
But behind his sometimes foggy specs (which he tweeted he left at home his first week) and great go, the 39-year-old has also made it clear his near-$300K will change his life.
He told The Philadelphia Inquirer that his father died before the start of his senior year of high school, which he “barely” graduated from.
In January 2021, he was hospitalized for several weeks after contracting COVID-19 – and could no longer work his public bus driving job.
He began driving for various rideshare drivers to provide for his eight-year-old boy Nathan, who made his bead necklace that peaks out of his aforementioned two dress shirts and two vests, all he could afford.
He was living paycheck-to-paycheck for more than a year before flying to Culver City.
“If this opportunity hadn’t come up, I don’t know what I was going to do long-term,” he told the outlet.
“I want to take my kid fishing. That’s really where my head is at.”
Ryan finished seven games shy of Canadian tutor Mattea Roach’s 23-game tear that ended in a blaze when she lost by $1 last month.
Mattea, Amy Schneider and Matt Amodio – all from this stunning season – will also compete in the Tournament of Champions in November.
HOST BATTLE DRIVES AHEAD
Mayim has been a front-seat passenger for Ryan’s entire streak.
She made an off-color joke about marijuana and also seemed to misunderstand the legacy of the band Queen, but she has also grown on plenty of fans despite Ken’s closer alignment to the show.
Ken and Mayim began filling in for the legendary Alex after his tragic 2020 passing and a fleet of Season 37 celebrity guest hosts, including now-disgraced Mike Richards.
The fact that the hosting slot is still undecided has been a huge point of discussion, as the late Alex had hosted since 1984.
As another fan tweeted recently, “I actually like both Ken and Mayim, so that’s that, at least for me,” though one more replied that the 74-game and Greatest of All Time winner, given his resume, is still a “better fit for the show” between them.
“I’m handing the keys back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director (!) Mayim Bialik for a few months,” Ken surprisingly tweeted, in early May the same day Mattea lost, “We are lucky to have her! I’ll be back before the end of the season.”
Eric will go for win number two tomorrow – The Sun as well as many viewers will indeed miss Ryan Long.
Ryan Long lost Jeopardy! on June 6th 2022 after 16 wins, and came in last placeCredit: ABC
Some fans thought the rideshare driver they’ve loved watching cruise past expectations ‘threw the game’ – he missed FJ and a Daily DoubleCredit: ABC
Mayim Bialik didn’t give much of a goodbye – Ryan, who won $299K total, will be back for the Tournament of Champions and has said he ‘just wants to be with his son’Credit: ABC
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