Lawrence Long, a “stay-at-home uncle” and conch player extraordinaire from North Carolina, can add another notch to his list of accolades — “Jeopardy!” champion.
Long is on a three-day winning streak with $74,792 as of Thursday, Feb. 10, according to the online contestant zone. He dethroned the previous champion, Emma Saltzberg, on Feb. 7, then promptly offered to donate to a Jewish progressive activist group she works with after seeing hateful comments directed toward her online, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Clad in khakis and a vest-blazer combo with a color-coordinated tie, Long captured Twitter’s attention his first night on the show.
Host Mayim Bialik introduced him as a “nursing student and a stay-at-home uncle,” after which Long launched into a story about how he “gloriously” played a conch shell at his cousin’s wedding. Bialik then asked whether he brought his own shell or went hunting for one on the beach.
“A true Conch musician always brings their own shell,” Long said in response.
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) February 8, 2022
If you like Lawrence on tonight's #Jeopardy episode, you will love this. I have obtained this GLORIOUS photo of Lawrence blowing the conch shell at the beach wedding. And yes he is wearing a sleeveless suit and a tie possibly without a shirt?
(shared with Lawrence's permission) https://t.co/BkxI2zPvbx pic.twitter.com/axgalHCDRX
— Lilly (@OneEclecticMom) February 8, 2022
Shout out to Lawrence Long repping all of the stay at home uncles on Jeopardy.
May you win enough to stay home forever.
— Kiley Larsen (@kilarzleesen) February 10, 2022
Long took home $23,201 that night — and a wink from host Bialik, a.lthough the Winston-Salem Journal reported he didn’t see it.
“I was probably too involved to enjoy it,” he told the newspaper.
Long went on to win another $20,390 on Feb. 8, for a total of $43,591. By Wednesday, Feb. 9, he had tacked on an additional $31,201.
According to the Triad City Beat, Long plans to donate some of his winnings to Love Out Loud, an organization that’s helping those displaced by the fertilizer plant fire in Winston-Salem.
So who is this mysterious mustached-man whose periwinkle suit jacket and fanciful anecdote about a cousin’s beach wedding won over the internet?
Twitter has its theories — from an evil land baron to actor and comedian Rob Delaney in disguise.
I am so happy Lawrence won on Jeopardy tonight because: a) he looks like a handsome scientist from the 50s and b) I must know what a stay-at-home uncle is
— WR (@wes_rosen) February 8, 2022
I have a theory that Lawrence Long owes someone a debt so now he’s on jeopardy playing for his life
— ASH (@__ASH_tastic) February 10, 2022
— Kebert Xela (@Kebert_Xela600) February 8, 2022
Lawrence oddly reminds me of the evil land baron in an old western movie. #Jeopardy
— Whisper (@DommeWhisperer) February 8, 2022
I'm convinced that Lawrence on Jeopardy is just @robdelaney doing a bit
— KaiO (@H2KaiO) February 9, 2022
— Plumed Omen (@DeonMumple) February 8, 2022
In reality, Long is from East Bend, North Carolina — a small town tucked in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains just outside Winston-Salem. About 600 people live there. He graduated from Clemson University in 2001 and currently attends nursing school at Forsyth Tech Community College.
Long is also a member of the Bunker Dogs improv comedy group in Winston-Salem, where he goes by “Skip.”
Can’t stress enough how exciting & important it is to see Lawrence appearing on & winning #Jeopardy. He’s from the same county as my husband - whose entire population is less than a tenth the size of Raleigh alone.
— E (@forestwith2rs) February 9, 2022
In an interview with Triad City Beat, Long said he studied English as an undergraduate and did his graduate studies “in actor-created physical theater in a program based on the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq.” He later moved to Chicago, where he became a sommelier and studied comedy writing at the famed improv comedy troupe Second City.
Long said he came back to North Carolina in 2010 after his niece was born.
“Stay-at-home uncle started as a sort of joke to support and undermine my sister’s authority as a parent,” he told Triad City Beat. “I love her, but she used to pull my hair. As the pandemic progressed, it became school proctoring and monitoring for (my niece) while my sister worked. It also entailed day trips to go on adventures and see things.”
Long will compete at 7 p.m. ET on Feb. 10 against a program manager from Seattle and an engineer from Wisconsin. You can find which local TV station will broadcast the episode at https://www.jeopardy.com/watch.