Who Is Ryan Long from ‘Jeopardy!’? The Contestant Quickly Making His Way to Riches

Titi Dokubo
May 25, 2022
06:20 P.M.

Ryan Long is the man everyone is talking about as he celebrated another achievement on the quiz show "Jeopardy!" He picked up his seventh straight victory on the show, and here are more details about his life.


The game show was created by Merv Griffin and features a quiz competition. The show's first-ever episode premiered in 1964 and was on air until 1975 before making a comeback, titled "The All New Jeopardy!" which ran for one year from 1978.

They canceled both of those shows, and today's version of "Jeopardy!" premiered in 1984. The show has since accumulated 39 Emmy Awards, and it also won a Peabody Award in 2011.

Portrait of Merv Griffin circa 2002 | Source: Getty Images

Portrait of Merv Griffin circa 2002 | Source: Getty Images


On May 24, 2022, Long won a seven-day streak as he continued on the "Jeopardy!" show, with his winnings reaching $160,401 and fans cheering him on via social media.


"I just kind of went in and did my thing."

The ordinary guy quickly made his way to riches and beat his competition, from writing center coordinator Mari Chao and content strategist Jodi Harris.



The 39-year-old Long was born in Philadelphia but moved to Bensalem at nine. When he was 13, his parents divorced, but his father died before the start of his senior year, forcing him to return to the city and live with his mother.

He said he "barely" graduated high school and started working as a paratransit driver for SEPTA's Customized Community Transportation program.

After being hospitalized for several weeks in January 2021 due to COVID-19, he returned to his job and realized he was no longer physically able to perform the work.


To survive and provide for his 8-year-old son, Nathan, he turned to ridesharing services. So when "Jeopardy!" called him to be on the program after 16 months from the show's initial test, he was excited.

However, Long could not afford the plane ticket and needed help. He also packed only two dress shirts because he could not afford more, but he was glad the show's wardrobe department helped stretch out his wardrobe choices.

Once he arrived in California for the show, he realized that he had left his glasses back home in Philadelphia and had repeatedly been seen squinting on the show.


Long, unlike the other participants, did not have flashcards, had no strategy, and did not read up on buzzer-beating techniques. He said:

"I didn't study or anything. I probably should have perused something, but I just didn't. I just kind of went in and did my thing."

He trusted his gut, and that has paid off on several occasions. Long will now take part in the Tournament of Champions, and he is looking forward to competing with previous contestants Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider. However, fishing with his son is his priority now.

Ken Jennings on the set of ABC's "The Chase" on May 6, 2021 | Source: Getty Images

Ken Jennings on the set of ABC's "The Chase" on May 6, 2021 | Source: Getty Images


At the beginning of May 2022, Ken Jennings revealed he was leaving the show for several months. He addressed his fans and informed them that he would hand the show "back to the talented actor-producer-writer-director, Mayim Bialik."

While some fans said they would miss him, others threatened to skip the show until he returns, while others are clamoring for him to be made the full-time host.

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