“OMG does anybody else think Ryan Long lost on purpose? Guess he got tired of competing,” tweeted one fan after Monday’s episode. Others shared similar sentiments, including a TVInsider commenter, who wrote, “It did seem like [Ryan] was laying back tonight; I got the impression that he was ready to go home.”
— TiffanyRenee (@RTiffanyxoxo) June 8, 2022
However, Long has shot down these claims, stating that while he was “ready to go,” he “did not lay down.” Speaking to USA Today, the Uber rideshare driver from Philadelphia said, “I didn’t throw the game. 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.”
Long added that he wasn’t on “top form” that day and knew that things were looking bad after he stumbled on a Daily Double question about Dr. King. “I’ve done projects on Dr. King. I’ve studied Dr. King. My mother told me about Dr. King growing up,” he said. “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.’”
“And I was just a little slower on the buzzer that day than normal,” he continued. “But I’m not taking anything away from Eric. He played a hell of a game.”
Long walked away with earnings of $299,400 after his 16 wins, which will allow him to quit his rideshare job and help provide a better life for his 8-year-old son Nathan. That said, the Philly native hasn’t thought too much yet about what he is going to do with his winnings.
“I’ve been telling people I just want to take my son fishing,” he told USA Today. “That’s pretty much where I’m at. I’ve got to get a bunch of stuff figured out before I can even go kind of crazy. I just made my first ever appointment with an accountant today. I never had a need for an accountant, or a lawyer. Now, I’m looking into getting both, and it’s really trippy.”
Jeopardy!, Weeknights, Check your local listings